In the suburbs of Silicon Valley, not far away from San Francisco Bay, there are apparently particular days for patriotism, at least according to one high school in Morgan Hill. On Cinco de Mayo, several students decided to wear clothing with American flag designs to make a statement about their own views on heritage — including one Hispanic student. Teachers demanded that they either turn their shirts inside out and remove all other American flag-themed clothing or face suspension for “defiance.” Their parents are outraged:
On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.
Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.
“They said we could wear it on any other day,” Daniel Galli said, “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today.”
The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts “incendiary” that would lead to fights on campus.
Incendiary? Since when is it incendiary to express patriotism for one’s own country? This is absurd, as are the demands for apologies from these students for offending those who observed Cinco de Mayo. One expression of celebration doesn’t interfere with another, however, as should have been obvious at the campus before the teachers got involved at all. If students want to “express themselves” by celebrating Cinco de Mayo, then they should be prepared to allow others to express themselves as well. Instead, they want the public expression monopoly at their high school — and the administration was stupid enough to concede it to them.
NBC quotes a fellow student:
“I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. “We don’t deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn’t do that on Fourth of July.”
Disrespected? I’m confused. Aren’t all the students Americans? Who is being disrespected by the display of our shared national flag?
Of course, school is usually out on the Fourth of July, even summer school. Maybe St. Patrick’s Day would be a better analog. Would I, as an American of Irish descent, get offended by an American flag on March 17th? Er, no. I wouldn’t even get offended by someone wearing Mexican-flag themed clothing. In fact, I wouldn’t care at all.
Apparently, Live Oak High School specializes in victimology and political correctness. Maybe they should teach civics at Live Oak … to the teachers and administrators.
Update: Laura Ingraham conducted a lengthy interview with the parents of the suspended students. Be sure to listen to it all: