This week includes Veterans Day, so a student attaches an American flag to the back of his bike. He pedals his way to Denair Middle School, and upon arrival, school staff members advise him to remove the Stars and Stripes. Word of this set of events quickly reaches the media, and upon questioning, the school provides the following response:
"(The) First Amendment is important," Superintendent Edward Parraz said. "We want the kids to respect it, understand it, and with that comes a responsiblity."
Parraz said the campus has recently experienced some racial tension. He said some students got out of hand on Cinco de Mayo.
"Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they'll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don't really want," Parraz said. "We want them to appreciate the cultures."
Parraz said if a disruption arises over a flag, they want it to be taken down to protect the safety of all students.
Now, I studied Law, and I understand how it has been interpreted to protect not only free speech, but other types of expression, as well. Therefore, I am completely stumped. Maybe someone who reads this can point out what I'm missing here.
The Superintendent wants the children to "respect" and "understand" the First Amendment - a portion of the Constitution he describes as "important." Therefore, he orders the kid to cease his display of American pride so as not to agitate the students who feel stronger loyalties to Mexico?
What? Someone help me out here, I'm lost.
The story as reported by KCRA: http://www.kcra.com/news/25754519/detail.html