LONGMONT, Colo. — Dozens of high school students protested a temporary school policy forbidding students from displaying the U.S. flag — as well as flags from other countries — amid racial tensions following immigration rallies.
From KNDS-TV (San Diego) and MSNBC on Monday:
SAN DIEGO - In the wake of last week's immigration-reform protests, one school district is taking drastic measures, banning all symbols of patriotism, both U.S. and Mexican.
Beginning Monday, the Oceanside Unified School District is banning all flags and patriotic clothing. According to school officials, some students are using the garments and flags to taunt classmates.
From the MTV website today:
School Bans Camouflage Clothing To Defuse Immigration Debate
We've told you about bans on baggy clothes, anti-war T-shirts and Marilyn Manson gear in schools, but American flags?
The boiling immigration debate, which has led to mass demonstrations and walk-outs by high school students across the country has taken a bizarre turn in Colorado, where the administration at Shaw Heights Middle School recently announced a new rule banning the wearing of any patriotic clothing, including camouflage print, because they say clothes have become a political symbol for a version of patriotism that is divisive, according to Denver's KCNC CBS4.
In a letter sent to parents last week, administrators at the Westminster, Colorado, school explained that the move to ban any clothes with political messages or flags of any sort was for the safety of students. The school's principal, Myla Shepherd, said that tensions over the immigration issue were recently apparent when more than 20 students came to school wearing camouflage jackets and pants, apparently to show what they call their patriotism and American pride, according to the CBS4 report.
From the Associated Press and the First Amendment Center:
Racial tensions at Apache Junction High School prompted a district official to make a bold move.
Superintendent Greg Wyman decided to ban students from wearing flags of any kind in any form. But the policy, supposed to last until the end of the school year, didn't last the day.
Wyman's decision came a day after a group of Hispanic students at the school took down the American flag from a pole, raised the Mexican flag, then watched as white students took it down and burned it. A shoving match ensued.
On March 31, emotions among students ran high. They wore Mexican and American flags to school, and some say the tension between Hispanics and whites was palpable.
By the end of classes that day, Wyman declared students would not be allowed to wear flags of any kind, whether on clothing, jewelry or otherwise. He also canceled a school dance scheduled for April 1.
OK, so what are the nation's educators telling us?
Any high school principal can trump first amendment free speech rights.
The American Flag is divisive.
The Mexican Flag has as much standing in the country as the American Flag.
And these people are supposed to be entrusted with educating our youth?