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Five Students Faced Suspension For Wearing American Flag Images To School
By Mary E. Coe   

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The principal of a California high school instructed five students to remove bandanas and turn t-shirts inside out because they displayed themes of the American flag and it was offensive to some Mexican-American students celebrating Cinco de Mayio holiday.

 The principal at a high school in Morgan Hill, CA instructed five students to turn their t-shirts in side out and take off their bandanas or they would be suspended and asked to leave school.   The reason was, some of the students wore t-shirts that displayed the image of the American flag and the other students wore bandanas with the image of the American flag to school on Cinco de Mayo, which is a Mexican Holiday.

The principal said he did not want fights to break out between Mexican-Americans celebrating Cinco de Mayo and students wearing t-shirts and bandanas displaying American flag themes.  He felt the T-shirts and bandanas were incendiary and offensive to some of the students who were celebrating a Mexican holiday.  The students wearing American flag themes chose to go home and not turn their t-shirts inside out or remove their bandanas.    

Some of the Mexican-American students said they felt they were being disrespected on Cinco de Mayo holiday.  However, at least 100 Mexican-American students wore colors of the Mexican flag; some students had it painted on their face and arm. 

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

The School District does not agree with the decision of the principal and the matter is being investigated.

I, also, do not agree with the decision of the principal.  This is America and the five students were within their rights to wear images of the American flag on their t-shirts and bandanas.  They were not breaking any school dress code.  I have never heard of any rules or dress code where students are asked not to wear certain colors, images or icons to school to respect the celebration of any holidays. 

I can respect the principal not wanting any fights to break out.  However, students cannot be instructed to remove or hide American flags because other students are celebrating a holiday that is important to their country. 

If the students are allowed to celebrate their holidays at school; other students should not be told they cannot wear images or themes of their choice.  The principal made a mistake. We all make mistakes. Maybe a lesson can be learned from all of this.




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