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Kids sent home from school for wearing US t-shirts

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by 2zuks, May 6, 2010.

  1. 2zuks

    2zuks Dallas, Oregon Member

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    I had to post this. I couldn't believe it when I read about it this morning.

    http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/...-sent-home-for-wearing-american-flag-t-shirts


    Five Morgan Hill students sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts

    May 5, 2010
    By Lindsay Bryant


    Five Live Oak High School students' First Amendment rights were challenged Wednesday morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts "incendiary."
    "They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire," said sophomore Matt Dariano.

    The Morgan Hill Unified School District issued this statement: "In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today. The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions."

    The five teens were sitting at a table outside during their brunch break about 10:10 a.m. when Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two boys to take off their American flag bandannas. The boys said they complied. In the same conversation, sophomore Dominic Maciel said, Rodriguez told the group to "walk with him to the office."

    Dariano called his mother Diana, who spread the word to the other parents, who all arrived soon after to have a conference with Rodriguez and Principal Nick Boden. The group said they were not instigating anything and did what they always do at break - sit and talk and eat.

    The boys were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home - and that it would not be considered a suspension - but that Rodriguez did not want any fights to break out among Mexican-American students and those wearing American flags. Dariano said other students were wearing American flags but since they were a group of five "we were the easiest target to cause trouble" according to Rodriguez, he said.

    The boys told Rodriguez and Boden that turning their T-shirts inside-out was disrespectful, so their parents opted to take them home.

    "I just couldn't believe it," said Dominic's mother Julie Fagerstrom. "I'm an open-minded parent, but it's got to be on both sides. It can't be five kids singled out."

    A front-desk secretary said Boden was unavailable for any comment on what had happened Wednesday and Rodriguez was busy with testing, the secretary said.

    More than 100 students were spotted wearing red, white and green as they were leaving school. Some had the Mexican flag painted on their faces or on their arms.

    Nothing in Live Oak's dress code policy addresses what transpired Wednesday, but it does state that "the school has the right to request that any student dressing inappropriately for school will change into other clothes, be sent home to change, and/or be subject to disciplinary action."

    One Mexican-American student, freshman Laura Ponce, had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, peaking out of her low-cut shirt. She did it because, "it's our day, the only day we can show our spirit." A school administrator took away the Mexican flag she was carrying as she was waiting to go home. Ponce said: "not cool."

    "There was a lot of drama going on today," Ponce said. Some were saying "Mexico sucks" while Mexican-American students responded in their second language.

    "Some were yelling Spanish to us," Maciel said, who is half-Hispanic. "I couldn't understand it, but it sounded bad."

    Some Mexican-American students said that their flags were taken away or asked to be put away, but none were sent home for wearing red, white and green. Since Boden would not comment, it's uncertain if any other students were sent home for what they were wearing on Cinco de Mayo.

    Live Oak High School even hosted a group of professional baile folklorico dancers, who waved flags and played traditional music from Mexico.

    "It's sad it's come to this," Fagerstrom said. "But we stand behind their patriotic nature and the boys expressing their individuality."

    The boys wrote a two-paragraph statement that they each signed detailing their support for American patriotism and that they felt disrespected and discriminated against when their First Amendment rights were discarded Wednesday at school.

    "We were not going to start a fight. We wanted to show our pride," Dariano said.
     
  2. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    If this were reversed and kids were made to remove the Mexican flag there would be screams of racism.
     
  3. CharlesAFerg

    CharlesAFerg Beaverton Active Member

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    You know it. I hope they take this to court.
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    You beat me to it.
     
  5. 2zuks

    2zuks Dallas, Oregon Member

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    There have been. There is a page on facebook that is in support of the arizona immigration law. They posted this story this morning along with contact info of the principal of the school, the vp, as well as the schools facebook page. The facebook page was shut down by mid-morning and the school has been flooded with e-mails, faxes, and phone calls. I was among them. This shows how bad things have got in this country.
     
  6. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    In most legal circumstances there are two different ways someone can do something wrong. That is through means or motive. Means is when they actually do something that is blatantly bad. motive is when they do something that does not appear bad but was done for underlying reasons which are themselves bad.

    In this case, it is quite obvious that these student's motives are questionable at best. Are we supposed to believe it was a coincidence that they just all happened to show up with flag shirts on the same day and that day just happened to be on a major hispanic holiday? The means may not be bad in this situation but the motives are pretty clear. They wish to incite hostility. Like it or not, that type of thing has to be nipped in the bud in public school settings. There is too much chance for conflict and injury to children.

    If a bunch of students showed up on veterans day wearing t-shirts with anti-war slogans you would want them to be told to change also. In fact it did happen in the Vancouver school system a few years back and they were sent home just like these kids were.

    The administration is not making a statement about patriotism. They are simply minimizing the chance of trouble for the kids.
     
  7. GRUNDEL

    GRUNDEL Washougal Area Active Member

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    I am a pretty passive, laid back guy but this crap is making my blood boil:angry:
     
  8. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    A couple things I would point out is there are no legal Mexican holidays in the US and there is only one legal flag.

    As for your point about being provocative I'm sure you are correct about that but it is the hypocrisy of the enforcement that stinks.

    And what the heck the left wing media uses the same whiny tactics to cry racism so what's good for the goose is good for the gander! :p
     
  9. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Having worked in the public education system I can tell you that there is no room for tolerance of any type of inciting behavior. There is too much risk and too many lawsuits. In fact I would not be at all surprised if this event was not manipulated by a parent/parents as a means to a lawsuit. Kids are frequently sent home for t-shirts that are provocative or insulting. It is when people make a huge fuss that you start to think there are underlying motives.

    The sad thing is, this is pretty clearly a case of these students intentionally causing an issue. Then people allow themselves to be blinded by false patriotism and fall into the trap of blindly supporting their actions. Therefore just perpetuating the whole "make a buck by suing the school" mentality.

    To me, patriotism does not include blindly being worked into a frenzy behind anyone waving a flag. It is about being considerate of different backgrounds and cultures and being respectful of my fellow Americans.
     
  10. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Good! I hope the American people keep waking up to the hard issues!
     
  11. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    What hard issue is represented here? The issue of allowing a group of students to incite trouble? Or to allow them to be disrespectful of other American's with hispanic heritage?

    Another thing I find odd is why people think wearing a flag is patriotic. Especially when a child does it. What have they done or experienced in their lives to understand the ideals for which that flag stands? Why are people so blinded when a flag is involved? I would call a man wearing birks and a "high times" t-shirt who respects his neighbor and understands the value of freedom a patriot and a guy wearing a flag on his shirt and a "God Bless America" ball cap while be hateful towards another American a fool who has no understanding of what this country is all about. People who hide racism and intolerance behind patriotism are the worst kind of people in my opinion.
     
  12. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Good. I hope the school gets the crap sued out of them. I hope they lose millions. Losing money like that is the ONLY way these guys will be held responsible for what they did. Otherwise they'd get a slap on the wrist, and no one would ever hear about it again.

    A similar thing happened in my HS a few years ago. Under a very similarly worded rule, they decided a student's 'you might be a redneck if' tshirt was a disturbance.

    He sued, and ended up going to the US Supreme Court, which ruled that the rule was overreaching, and the student ended up with a bunch of money. Only then did the administration get called out for their actions.

    The principal and a bunch of the administration was purged because of that.
     
  13. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    There are people who takes anything that has to do with OUR American flag very seriously! It is a very Huge issue when an American man or woman directs a child to hide the American flag because it might upset a none American.
     
  14. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    So you think people should be allowed to incite trouble then sue if they are stopped or sue if it escalates? You do know who's money they are taking, right?
     
  15. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    And you can't understand the principle that there is a time to wave the flag and a time not to do so? There is an old quote from an American leader that pretty much says there is a time to wave the flag in victory and a time when not to out of respect for your enemy. What ever happened to true patriotism like that.
     
  16. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I pledge Allegiance to the flag
    of the United States of America
    and to the Republic for which it stands,
    one nation under God, indivisible,
    with Liberty and Justice for all.


    Its alright PlayboyPenguin you can turn away from it and hold that Mexican flag too if you want. I am really starting to see where you stand on some issues!
     
  17. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    It is sad how this has been blown out of proportion! "Patriots" can be too touchy! The bottom issue here is not political or about immigration. It's that the school administrator thought that group of boys was trying to start a racial fight.

    My ancestors were miserable, starving Irish immigrants, forced to abandon their ancient homeland due to British oppression. Through the years they prospered and now Saint Patrick's Day is a huge unofficial holiday in many major cities. Now if a school was celebrating Saint Patrick's Day and a group of boys came wearing British Union Jack t-shirts..................I'd suspect they were deliberately trying to provoke a violent reaction. A school administrator would not be out of line in trying to head off trouble. Imagine if a group of boys wore Confederate Battle Flag shirts on Martin Luther King Day! Obviously that would be deliberately provocative, right? A school would have to take action, right?

    What if the situation was reversed? What if school was celebrating on the Fourth of July, and a group of kids came wearing Mexican flag t-shirts? Would there not be a threat of trouble brewing? You can bet that any good school administrator would tell them to cool their First Amendment freedom and take off the shirts.

    Our First Amendment freedom was never about shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater. Or about starting fights at school with inflamatory t-shirts. Patriots need to conserve their outrage for more important Bill of Rights issues.........................elsullo
     
  18. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I think my allegiance to my country should come before anothers county. Especially in my country where my feet are currently standing.
     
  19. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    And I think I understand your warped sense of patriotism and the motivations behind it.
     
  20. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Actually, I have found in my experiences that "Patriots" are very compassionate and understanding people. It is the element that like the wrap themselves in the flag that tend to be touchy. True patriots never seem to need the window dressing that a certain element finds so important. :)

    And you are right. These kids were looking for trouble and the school stopped it from happening. End of story.