Judge rules students can be prohibited from wearing American flag t-shirts


Here is another example of our disappearing freedoms…

On Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 2010), a principal told three students that they had either had to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out or go home. He said he did this to prevent violence from Mexican American students who were celebrating the Mexican holiday.

Last week, a judge ruled that Mexican American students are allowed to wear Mexican flags and colors on the Mexican holiday, but school officials CAN prohibit students from wearing the American flag or colors as they might entice violence. This is simply wrong. Why not honor the First Amendment by allowing freedom of expression and punish those who start or participate in violence rather than showing minorities that they are allowed to celebrate THEIR heritage while American patriotism is disallowed?

The problem with this ruling is that it IS discrimination. If the principal was truly afraid of violence, he should have either canceled the celebrations altogether or kept an eye out for problems and punished the specific students who were causing problems. The wearing of the American flag is NOT the problem. The fact that some students would cause problems over it IS. As part of freedom of speech, you can’t discriminate against some parties and not others. If they prohibited all flags from being worn, that would be different, but they didn’t. The judge specifically said the American flag couldn’t be worn on this date.

A few years ago, when The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists (Bethany House, 2007) was released, our local county library scheduled a book signing with me (the author). When the superintendent heard of this, he discussed the “issue” with the county mayor who then told the librarians (under his jurisdiction) that they could NOT have a book signing at the library that involved a homeschool book. His reason was that homeschoolers “take money away from” public schools. (While this is not true, I won’t go into that discussion right now.) There are frequently book signings at the public library. These events are not held to sell books or make money for the author. The events are held for the benefit of the public. It allows readers to meet authors and discuss book content in a setting that interests most avid readers – the library. Book signings also inform readers by providing a forum where they can learn about various subjects that might interest them. Because the mayor said he would allow other authors to do book signings there, but not a “homeschool author” about a “homeschool book,” this was considered viewpoint discrimination. It is constitutional to say something like “all t-shirts are banned” or “students must wear uniforms,” but you can’t say some students can wear flag shirts and others can’t. This is discrimination against a particular group and it is unconstitutional.

These cases are so frustrating because it’s scary that any judge would ever rule that viewpoint discrimination is acceptable. It is the first step toward another Civil War or another Holocaust.

Here is a link to one of the articles about this issue:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/11/BA2N1LU0HC.DTL

Sonya

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