Opinion Brief

Banned from school for wearing the flag?

A group of California high school students sent home for wearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo sparks national outrage

Were the teens being patriotic - or insulting?

Teachers sent home five Morgan Hill, CA, high school students this week for wearing American flag t-shirts and bandanas on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. The boys — of whom four are Caucasian and one is Hispanic — said they were just being "patriotic." The school's vice principal, however, argued that their "incendiary" clothing could start fights and about 200 Hispanic students walked out of class Thursday to protest the way the wardrobe choices "disrespected" them. Was sending the flag-adorned students home the wrong move? (Watch a local report about the incident)

America's a free country: "Since when is it incendiary to express patriotism for one’s own country?" asks Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. If Hispanic students "want to 'express themselves' by celebrating Cinco de Mayo, then they should be prepared to allow others to express themselves as well."
"Video: 'Cinco de Mayo not the day for patriotism'"

The flag-wearers wanted a fight: Despite the predictable "fuming and hissing" from the conservative "wingnut blogosphere," says Little Green Footballs, these kids were obviously trying to "create conflict and bad feelings." So the school officials did what they needed to do to "maintain order."
"Outrageous outrage of the day"

This festival is a non-event anyway: "I have no idea if the boys' clothing was meant to be 'incendiary' or not," says Daniel Foster in the National Review. But I do know that Cinco de Mayo is a barely-celebrated, "second-rate holiday in Mexico," and "functions mainly as an (unneeded) excuse for college kids to drink" in the U.S. So what's the big deal?
"Is wearing a Mexican flag on the 4th of July illegal?"

America is supposed to be about inclusion: Obviously, "something is out of whack" with our education system, says Peter Roff in U.S. News. "Tolerance is supposed to be at the core of the American ethos." But this incident reveals this "is no longer the case." Students are being "polarized by race" and those "who are part of the majority culture are put down because of it." Maybe someone should teach all Live Oaks students "what it means to be American."
"American flag shirt fight illustrates new American intolerance"

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