Yesterday, I wrote that the decision by Denair Middle School to forbid Cody Alicea from flying the American flag on the back of his bicycle probably had more to do with administrative cowardice than overt hostility towards patriotic speech. Confirming this yesterday in an interview with the local Fox affiliate that first reported the story, district superintendent Ed Parraz insisted that they had only done so to protect the boy from “threats” issued by other students:
Ed Parraz, the Superintendent of the Denair School District told us a school supervisor asked Cody to take down the flag. The supervisor will not be fired or face repercussions. Parraz says the supervisor had information that Cody Alicea’s safety was at risk because of the flag. Some students had complained about it and had apparently made threats.
“The last thing we wanted was to deny Cody his rights,” said Parraz speaking about the boy’s wish to fly the American flag.
Well, that statement is demonstrably false. The last thing Parraz and the school wanted to do was take action against the students making the threats. The first thing they did was to deny Cody his rights. They silenced him instead of dealing with the real problem, which is about as clear a case of administrative cowardice as one could find.
The first lesson from Denair this week was that terrorism works. The second lesson is that cowardice doesn’t. I wonder how Denair teaches civics these days.