Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Five Kids Kicked Out of School for Wearing US Flag Shirts on Cinco de Mayo

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Five students at Like Oak High School in Santa Clara, California, were forced to leave school and are now facing disciplinary action for the crime of wearing clothing printed with American flag designs on Cinco de Mayo. Daniel Galli told reporters that during lunch the Vice Principal Miguel Rodriguez told two of the boys to remove the American flag bandannas that they were wearing on their heads and the other told the students they had to go home unless they turned their shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were sent to the principal’s office. The students were told that they could wear the shirts on any other day, but not on Cinco de Mayo because it is sensitive to Mexican Americans. “They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended,” said Dominic Maciel, one of the students sent home. They boys have not publicly admitted to wearing the American flag colors for any specific reason. They decided they would rather be sent home because they thought that turning the American flag around would be “disrespectful.”

California Education Code 48950 “prohibits schools from enforcing a rule subjecting a high school student to disciplinary sanctions solely on the basis of conduct that, when engaged in outside of campus, is protected by the First Amendment.”

The first amendment grants all Americans the right to free speech. There are limitations to this right, however; wearing a shirt depicting the American flag does not fall under this category.  On July 4th, people that live in Mexico do not have to take their flags down, so how is this any different? Students should not be penalized for expressing their individuality.

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Written by knconte1

May 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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