The Water Cooler – Removing American Flag T-Shirts on Cinco de Mayo

February 28, 2014 12:00 pm · 104 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

A federal appeal court ruled on Thursday that officials of a Morgan Hill high school didn’t violate students’ civil rights when they asked several students to remove American flag T-shirts during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2010.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously said the action was justified because the administrators had a reasonable belief that the T-shirts could lead to conflicts and possible violence among students.

What’s your opinion on this ruling? Do you think the judges made the right or wrong decision?

Talk about it….

1 LessonsNotLearned February 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM

I think that in some ways the ruling was good. The ruling was good because it may have mitigated anger on the part of some students. The ruling was not good because anger or not, this is our country’s flag. If people are angered by those displaying (in this case, wearing the flag), then what are they doing here? If they hate the US so much and seeing the symbol of our country makes them so angry, they should leave. Also, by banning certain t-shirts or whatever that may be offensive to others, this infringes on one’s right to free speach or free display of whatever it is they need to say. The constant babysitting of everyone by our government, schools, etc. is getting to be quite ridiculous. The over touchiness of people is also out of control. People need to get a life and stop constantly looking for things that are offensive to them. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it, read it, participate in it. Let people be.

2 Felino February 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Oh boy, this is going to get real ugly, real fast!!!

3 Earl February 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I don’t care what the judges ruled on. The students still had their rights violated. I’m down visiting family right now in Arizona. Gotta love Sheriff Joe here in Maricopa County!!!

4 Cowellian February 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Banning the American flag is blatantly un-American!

5 Kalifornia Native February 28, 2014 at 12:12 PM

When did Cinco de Mayo become a national holiday

6 BDuns February 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Absolute BS!!!!! The court just taught those kids that if they don’t like someone’s free speech, they should just threaten them with violence until it all gets shut down.

7 Makes sense now February 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Now, there’s the 9th Circuit Court we’re used to. I almost thought they had gone conservative when they ruled on the concealed carry thing recently, but I see they’re back to “normal”.

If American kids are allowed to wear American flag t-shirts any other day of the year, it’s ridiculous that they they should be required to remove them on Cinco de Mayo.

8 Clayanon February 28, 2014 at 12:32 PM

I went to a High School (a hundred years ago, haha) that was very heavily populated by kids of Irish descent. On St. Patricks day everyone wore green, Irish or not. Except, this one guy who wore orange (he meant to be provocative because the Catholic Irish wore green and the Protestant Irish wore orange. Dates back in history to lots of trouble between each side).
Back then we just ignored him and didn’t take the bait.
It would be nice today if kids would be told not to take the bait of others trying to start conflict. But no, now we need court orders. Sad.

9 billa February 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

What utter BS, I am so tired of all the political correctness, Bottom line
if you don’t like the country, the flag, the military, the freedoms that the constitution provides, leave. I bet you won’t because where else will you get all the free stuff that the rest of us provide.

10 Happy Friday! February 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM

My husband and I saw this on the news last night, and we agreed with the decision. Err on the side of caution.

American t-shirts are very patriotic and worn by Americans of all races every day of the week.

To wear one on Cinco de Mayo is insensitive, and could easily lead to conflicts and unnecessary violence.

My husband and I are white, but we’re not discriminatory. I hope we provided a good example for our grown children.

11 mika February 28, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Bull puckey!

12 ortiz February 28, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Earl #3……..if you decide to make your visit to Arizona permanent you would raise the IQ level of both places by leaving Claycord and bunking up with Sheriff Joe and his folks.

13 Larrabee February 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Cowellian nailed it at #4. There are reasons, and there are excuses; The judges used a fear-based excuse to reach a bad decision. It’s no wonder so many refer to them as The 9th Circus Court-of-Appeals.

14 Ridiculous February 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

what’s next? Can’t wear my t-shirt with a Mennorah on it at Xmas time?

15 Mr. Pink February 28, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I say yes, let’s legalize marijuana. Wait, what are we talking about?

16 I'm The Urban Spaceman February 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Is the shirt being worn only on Cinco de Mayo or is it worn on other days like St. Patrick’s day or Columbus Day?
Is it being worn to incite anger in those celebrating the Mexican Holiday?
As long as it isn’t being used to provoke others(which is determined by the behavior of the person wearing it) they should be proud to display the stars and stripes.

17 RANDOM TASK February 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM

absolutely that judge needs to be fired ……this is America and the flag represents the freedom that thousands died for ……you mess with that …really …….unbelievable. This country is a country no more when you make policy for immigrants to change what the RED…WHITE…AND BLUE STAND FOR ……find me a country that would let americans dictate what they are allowed to wear on cinco de mayo. better yet they said that it would offend the latinos if the American flag were on display on the fifth of may…..so go ahead dems get it over with just flat out tear up everything this country stands for and call it mexico ……that’s what you want anyways ………go south there is the door if you don’t like it …..

18 Freedom of choice February 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Isn’t cinco de mayo an Americian holiday. Mexico does not even celebrate this American holiday for Mexican people. It’s a Hallmark holiday and the American flag trumps any flag or symbol on any day. What country are you in?? What rights do you have because your in this country ?? America!!! Next it will be no American flags on st partty’s day, which is another Hallmark holiday. American flag provails on all days and celebrations. Sorry people!!!

19 The Grant February 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Cinco de Mayo is a MEXICAN holiday that has nothing to do with the United States (Mexico victory over the French – but then again who hasnt beaten the French)

If you are not going to celebrate being an AMERICAN then get out of my country

20 just a concordian February 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

@ Happy Friday

Your husband and you should not have children. But that’s my personal opinion. My right to express myself freely. As is wearing whatever you want. I hope I didn’t create any conflicts, and I also hope I set a great example for your children.

21 Anon777 February 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I’m sort of on the fence on this one. While I don’t feel they should have been asked to remove their USA colors, I can understand the intentions to stop any pending altercation, esp at a school with minors involved.

I don’t understand why people can’t just all get along. Did these kids take offense of a Cinco de Mayo celebration and think they needed to prove something by wearing USA colors to this event? It’s not like we don’t have many occasions ourselves (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day) to show our colors and celebrate the US; or any day of the year, so as long as you are not doing it to shove your Americanism down someone else’s throat. You don’t have to be American to celebrate these events and you don’t have to be Mexican to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I think more education, understanding and tolerance is needed by all. We are all equal.

PEACE PEOPLE!

22 KenInConcord February 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

@Happy Friday

If your correct and it’s the fault of the flag wearer.

How bout you and me head out on the 4th of July to fine some Mexican Flag shirt wearing punks and kick some immigrant ass! They should know better.

Boy, it sounds bad and offensive if a white, male, Christian, breeder from walnut creek says it!

23 RANDOM TASK February 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM

@10 really.. insensitive what about all those thousands that died so we can have our freedom to wear what we choose …..exactly a dem and a halfwit bending over for everyone so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. The men who fought so you could sit there and throw away all they died for are being disrespected and they fought and bled so you could be a coward ……….for shame

24 Pyrrhus February 28, 2014 at 12:52 PM

First off, if those kids wore those shirts to cause controversy or to rile up people then they need to be ready for the consequences. Should they be allowed to wear the shirts? Sure, but as soon as they are taunting other students or trying to make a statement that interrupts school then they need to take off the shirt or be taken out of class.

School is for learning and not for stupid shenanigans of angst filled teenagers. They can bemoan society and how unfair it is to be white/black/brown/purple on their own time. They are not adults and the school is entrusted with taking care of them and to providing an education. When they turn 18 they can get their GED and get out, until then they are under the school’s rule. Don’t like it? Tough, that’s life.

Seriously, the best bet would be to have a school uniform and not have to worry about what is and isn’t appropriate.

25 Kevin February 28, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Banning the American flag is un-American, but I think Happy Friday #10 spelled it out very eloquently, and I agree. It is a fear based excuse, but if it keeps Latino’s from getting violent, it’s worth it. In the words of the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want, You Get What You Need.” Which is easier? Removing a few t-shirts (no big deal) or racial violence, guns being drawn, waste of police man-power and taxpayer dollars. Take off the shirt and get on with your life. No big deal.

26 VikingPrincess February 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Don’t know about the school history, location and race ratio. Also don’t think every state of our great Union celebrates as we do.

This case seems to be more small picture than big picture. If this occurred I hope they did not allow the Mexican flag to be worn either.

Does have shades of the real St. Patrick’s Day…a day of religious massacre but since Cinco De Mayo is not about religion maybe this is why the courts could get involved?

Big picture..sounds petty and personal. We should never be in a position to not be proud to wave our flag …at any age.

27 Uhhhhh February 28, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Since when is it important for this country to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It is not an American holiday nor is it equal to the 4th of July. If we are going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo to this extent we need to celebrate Bastille Day, Canada Day, Greek New Years, Chineses Easter etc………..

28 The Students and their Parents should be Ashamed of themselves. February 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM

They used the American Flag as a weapon to express their hatred. On the other hand, the Hispanics should have displayed the American Flag as a gesture of respect for the adopted country. In either case, people were thinking with their bowels, rather than their brains.

29 RANDOM TASK February 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Now obviously this is a subject that should have been handled in the courts properly ……to snatch away the freedoms at a school level sends this country even further down the pit …….you sit there protected by the very freedom you denounce …….as well as under the blanket of which it was fought for …….when you deface and throw away all that was fought for it will be you alone and on your own wondering why no one is helping you.

30 RANDOM TASK February 28, 2014 at 1:02 PM

so many things wrong with this it is making the UNITED STATES ripe for collapse ……congratulations

31 mamatosix February 28, 2014 at 1:06 PM

This is America!
When we are forced hide our flag for fear of retaliation … it is time for a fight.
Just wrong on every front.

32 Sue February 28, 2014 at 1:07 PM

They were trying to ease racial tensions. They made the right decision. I think all Americans are okay with American flag t-shirts, and they shouldn’t have to be removed.

They were trying to keep the peace. I’m a conservative Republican. If I can think this way, anyone can…..LOL.

Common sense!

33 anonmtz February 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM

You all are of course aware that 16 of the 29 currently serving judges for the 9th Circuit Court were appointed by Republican presidents.

34 Class of 90 CVHS February 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Absolute and total crap! Insane! Judges, we are in Anerica! You just offended me. Common sense? Discriminating against Anericans in America. Awesome.

35 claycordian February 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Welcome to Mexico’s newest state!

36 Incognito February 28, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I agree with billa #9 and Cowellian #4 – 100 %

And, now I’m going to add a couple of comments, a little off the subject, but, in my opinion, related:

All walks of life come to America for a better life…. they freely celebrate their beliefs, their holidays (of sorts) like Cinco De Mayo, and yet we (in America) are told we cannot exhibit our own flag?

Also, a couple of other things I find disturbing… again, come to America for a better life (because clearly your country isn’t all that great) and then when the Olympics come up, you are in the Olympics representing the country you left and not the country you are living in (for a better life) and where you trained.

And, I’m going to use Oscar De La Hoya as an example… born in California and is from Mexican descent. An American by all accounts. We all know how famous and wealthy this man has become – in America. Which flag do you think he walks into the ring with when he rights? No, it is not the American flag – it’s the Mexican flag.

I think I’ve made my point.

37 dilligafman February 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

ABSOLUTE B%$#s*&t!!!! its called freedom of speech!!! we have the right to wear anything patriotic we want. RECALL THOSE MORONIC JUDGES!!!!!!

38 Happy Friday! February 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I knew I would upset some white folks, and that’s okay.

To set the record straight, I don’t think you should EVER HAVE TO REMOVE AN AMERICAN FLAG ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!

My husband and I aren’t liberals or conservatives. We are moderates. We don’t engage in the left wing, right wing controversy.

We agreed with the decision to keep racial tensions under control. It could easily lead to VIOLENCE! This is a safety issue.

As far as our children, they’re all college graduates who are doing well financially.

39 Miss Diagnosis February 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

I think it is fair. The teenagers were obviously trying to start sh** with other students. What’s wrong with a school embracing other cultures? There are a large population of hispanics in california whether you like it or not, and I think it is best to have a little understanding. Same thing goes for hispanics wearing shirts with their flag on it during, say, a fourth of july celebration. Just be respectful!

@Uhhhh: Chineses easter? Are you joking?

40 Ted K., SuperMax February 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The judges determined it was for “safety reasons”.

Summarily, censorship is allowed for “safety reasons”? This is a dangerous precedence as it is applied forward. In that case, looking a certain way or wearing certain clothes can be banned for “safety reasons” because somebody deemed it so.

41 Reality Slap February 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

If this issue is about what students may do because of an affront to their beliefs, then perhaps the kids who want to wear an American Flag shirt should wear it EVERYDAY, except of course on Cinco de Mayo. For Cinco de Mayo, or the day it is celebrated at the school, the students could become ill and not be able to attend. I’m thinking that a drop in the ADA (average daily attendance) money with a mass absence for that day would let the school district know just what selective discrimination can do.

42 barn February 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

no American flag no Mexican flag problem solved

43 Ban ALL OTHER flags first ! February 28, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Then there’s no issue. One flag. One nation. Like it or LEAVE !

44 BDuns February 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

So Happy Friday – so what you’re saying is that it is to use (or threaten) violence in order to shut down free speech?

What sort of precedence do you think that sets??? Now any time these punks disagree with something, they know that all they have to do is threaten violence so that some idiot judges tell the people exercising free speech to stop it.

45 The Theorist February 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Except this was completely manipulated by the lame stream media and their CIA handlers to provoke more class and races warfare. Did anyone bother reading about the original incident and intent? Did anyone recall two of the boys were Hispanic?

46 BDuns February 28, 2014 at 1:50 PM

correction – Happy Friday – so what you’re saying is that it is OK to use (or threaten) violence in order to shut down free speech?

47 Matt February 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

As a Latino male, there’s only one person who’s making any real sense, and that’s Happy Friday. She has enough common sense to know you shouldn’t have to take off an American flag shirt. She also has enough common sense to know this could get violent. This isn’t letting Latino’s win, this is keeping Latino’s from getting violent. And some will. Ever been to a Cinco de Mayo celebration in San Jose? Keeping safety in the school’s, which is hard to do these days, is a priority for the students and faculty alike.

48 old concord February 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

American’s are very brave fighting from a distance but in their face they fold like school girls . Confrontation to do the right thing is a stomach turner . Easier to walk away . Leadership is leading in the wrong direction . What did the kids involved learn from this government ruling ?

49 Welcome to North Mexico February 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

If you want to have any rights as an American you will have to try Canada, the United States has officially changed it’s name to North Mexico, citizens of the United States no longer have any rights here.

50 Insidious J February 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Flag Desecration Amendment – Flag desecration is the act of intentionally destroying, damaging, or mutilating a flag. This is usually done in public and often destruction is caused to a national flag. The Flag destruction is considered as a part of right to free speech under the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The language would permit the prohibition of ALL forms of flag desecration. This amendment is directly linked to our right to free speech. With that being said… This holiday is primarily celebrated in the United States as it is more of a Mexican-American holiday. It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. So… You fly both flags simultaneously!!! I will always fly my country’s colors while I’m on my country’s soil. Everyday of the year.

51 Dorothy February 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

If I remember correctly and what the news bit and question doesn’t say, is that they said juveniles or children in school do not have the same free speech rights as adults.

If they had been in college there might have been a different judgement. That they were still in high school doesn’t seem to be a good reason to abridge their free speech rights.

Question: If they had been 18 and still in school, are they legal adults or school children?

52 Welcome to North Mexico February 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Next We will be told not to speak English because it might upset the Illegal immigrants.

53 This is America February 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM

first, last and foremost. The judges are traitors to their oaths of office.

They made their decision, I hope they are prepared for the consequences.

54 EAST BAY VELO WORKS February 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Since when is it not Ok to wear old glory in the USA

55 Killjoy February 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

How many times have we seen right here in Concord, the Latinos flying a Mexican flag on the 4th of July during the parade?
I think that the judge and the school were completely in the wrong.
This is America. People fought and died over these kids rights, including to wear what they want, when they want.

56 Incognito February 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

@Matt #48
Maybe it’s time for the Latinos to behave in public…

57 Claytonian February 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Every protest gathering or march was done to incite conflict. High school teachers are telling their students to march with protest signs for extra credit. And now the same administration is telling them they can’t wear the flag as a protest to the celebration of cinco de mayo. Pure liberal bias.

58 anon February 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Money spent on these administrators is a waste of our money. The judges were wrong on this one.

59 Insidious J February 28, 2014 at 2:27 PM

@ Matt,
“This isn’t letting Latino’s win, this is keeping Latino’s from getting violent.” If a Latino is living in the United States of America and can potentially get “violent” because because of the American flag… They can head south. Like I previously stated. You fly both flags simultaneously. No violence.

60 bumper February 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Cinco De Mayo isn’t a largely celebrated holiday in Mexico. It’s a drinking day, promoted by Corona, etc. Not being allowed to wear the Flag is an insult, and those judges should be recalled.

This country is turning to crap by the day.

61 Craig February 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM

As a retired high school principal who taught for over 30 years, the school made the right decision, and so did the 9th Circuit.

As a Republican, I can’t believe I’m agreeing with the 9th Circuit. This is a first, and probably a last.

These kids didn’t wear an American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo displaying American pride. They wore it looking for a fight, and they know it, and so did the school. Faculty members deal with teenagers on a daily basis, and most of them are parents.

American flag shirts worn on July 4th are worn with pride, as well as other days of the year.

I’m not angry with the students, the faculty or the 9th Circuit. I’m angry with the parents that let them walk out the door with shirts that could easily lead to conflict. Or did they care?

Parents need to engage in the lives of their children, and if they didn’t know a celebration was being held, they should of.

Err on the side of safety, and keep the kids safe in our schools. All kids.

62 Mimi (original) February 28, 2014 at 2:42 PM

As my kid would say, “this whole thing is RidONKulous! Live and let live fools!!”

63 Matt February 28, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Killjoy, you don’t it. Mexican’s can fly the Mexican flag during the 4th of July parade, and white people don’t care. They don’t show up for a 4th of July parade looking for the Mexican flag. It’s the 4th of July for Americans! If these white kids wore American t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo, they’re looking a fight with the Mexicans, period. The school knew it, the Mexicans knew it, and the 9th circuit too. Do I think they should have to take of their shirts? HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do I agree with the decision? Absolutely! This is a common sense and safety issue. Ever heard of diffusing racial tensions? Or would you rather have all traffic stops lead to Rodney King?

64 Joe Arpaio February 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM

This is B.S.- you do not give any concessions, the flag stays. If the Students turn it into a violent issue, they will get an education in juvenile hall. Pink draws and green baloney. As a way for all illegal aliens and for legal aliens to proclaim their devotion to their new home, the IANCSOF (Illegal Alien Non-Combatant Subterfuge Occupation Force), is accepting applications. Candidates will occupy various middle-eastern hot spots for a 2-year period, and then the path to legal citizenship is open. Job duties include: outdoor fiestas, playing the tuba, constant drinking, scrap recycling…etc, in order to confuse and annoy the religious extremists. Must not assimilate to the countries customs or traditions under any circumstances.

Fair

65 Realist February 28, 2014 at 3:24 PM

#9 is correct in all respects.
#26 would make Chaimberlain proud with the appeasment reasoning they espouse.

The flag of our great nation should ALWAYS be allowed, in every event and circumstance IMO. The school should ban violence, not the flag. Make an announcement over the public adress system to point out this issue and reinforce the consequences of violent acts; AND that violence is never a valid response to any seeming offence.

Vive la America!

66 WC February 28, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Will it be ok to drink a budweiser that day at the bar or will I rile up a bunch of people drinking coronas? Damn it’s getting complicated!

67 Sid February 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Schools regulate what students where all the time. No spaghetti straps, no wife beaters, no sagging pants, so undergarments showing, no short shorts, no alcoholic beverage or tobacco images, no gang colors. It’s done to create an environment conducive to education and safe for students.

The students were wearing clothes with US flags emblazoned on them as a “f— you” to the Mexican students on a Cinqo de Mayo. The school administration was right to tell them to knock it off and remove their flag clothing. Their job is to keep students safe. That’s exactly what they were doing. If you believe it’s a violation of free speech, then you must also believe they should be free to wear their gang colors or a T-shirt advertising their favorite brand of whiskey.

What these kids need are lessons in flag etiquette. It is against the flag code to wear the flag as an article of clothing. That includes shorts with the flag printed all over them and T-shirts with the flag printed on them. There are very strict rules on how the US flag should be displayed and handled.

These students and their parents showed nothing but disrespect for our flag by a) wearing it as an article of clothing and b) wearing it with the intention of stirring up trouble with their fellow students. That’s not being a patriotic American. That’s using our flag to be a jacka$$.

68 mojoduck February 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM

ok lets be fair than ban all flags at all schools

69 Half full February 28, 2014 at 3:44 PM

@billa #9
Two thumbs up

70 Clayton Valley Grad February 28, 2014 at 3:49 PM

CALM DOWN WHITE AMERICA!

When you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll still be living in America, you’ll still have your freedom, and yes, white privilege will still be alive and well, along with racism.

Of course you shouldn’t have to remove your American flag t-shirt. But you wore it to start crap, and you know it. The school called you on it, and so did the 9th Circuit.

Anybody that doesn’t agree with doing whatever you have to do to keep the kids safe shouldn’t be a parent. (Most of the above posts).

Live Oak High School has a history of racial tension between Whites and Hispanics. Morgan Hill is a nice suburb, but it’s right outside San Jose.

What was the school supposed to do? They were diffusing racial tensions, which is COMMON SENSE!

I’m glad a few others get it. Craig, Happy Friday, Pyrrrus, Sue, Miss Diagonosis, just to name a few.

I’m glad there are a few well educated people on Claycord. Craig and Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend.

By the way, I’m a white male from Clayton. And I’m not a Democrat.

And you wonder why people are in favor of school uniforms?

But then again, Claycord has always had too many rednecks on board.

71 Clayton Valley Grad February 28, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Please add Sid (#68) to my list of people who get it.

72 Cristina February 28, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Who cares if the kids wore the shirts because they don’t support celebrating Cinco de Mayo. If the other kids wanted to fight them over this then they should stop celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The kids that don’t or didn’t want to celebrate or support Cinco de Mayo should not be forced into it! Everyone but real Americans are protected these days! Freedom of Speech only applies to anyone who is not a true American these days. So sad….

73 Incognito February 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM

This confirms the need for uniforms in all schools.

74 BS, this is America February 28, 2014 at 4:09 PM

We can fly our flag anytime we want.

75 Mrs. T February 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM

HA! Only in Cali!! Total crap this is……….

76 bumper morgan February 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM

If they wee dufusing racial tensions, then all students wearing any flag on any garment should also have been told to remove them or go home.

discrimination is discrimination.

If a Mexican was told to remove his mexican flag clothing he wore to his school on July 4th, just think of the outrage and claims of racism. Every alphabet organization would rally, there’d be marches, La Raza would be out in force. it’s all sickening.

77 mika February 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Kids at our local high schools wear gang colors, red or blue. Why not outlaw that if its a safety concern in schools? Is it OK for the white kid to wear red but the Hispanic boy has to change? School uniforms would eliminate those inequities.

78 Julie February 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I’m glad to see several others with “a heart” who understand the safety of the students.

Schools shouldn’t have to enforce school uniforms, but I understand why they do it.

What I’ll never understand is people who aren’t respectful of cultural differences.

What people need is a change of heart and attitude. Nobody is any better, some people are just better off.

These students didn’t wear the American flag t-shirt out of pride. Like Sid said, they wore it as an screw you to Latino’s. That’s disrespecting the flag.
Wearing a American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo is disrespecting Latino’s.

For all of the above posts saying it’s all about the flag, get real. Either you don’t get it, or you don’t care. My guess would be the later.

The white kids didn’t have to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I don’t celebrate it. I’m not Mexican. I celebrate 4th of July very proudly.

If you don’t think Hispanics have a right to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I feel sorry for you.

Keep in mind European Americans, we immigrated from Europe.

The Indians were here first!

79 Atticus Thraxx February 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Context is important. This school had racial violence between Whites and Hispanics the previous Cinco De Mayo, so the school official probably made the right call. His/her job is to ensure the safety of all the students.
And if I further understand it, the 9th Circuit used Tinker vs Des Moines Independent School district Supreme Court ruling of 1969 that set the conditions of curtailing Freedom of Speech in schools. They call it the “Tinker” test. Balances safety against Constitutional rights it’s claimed.
Make no mistake, the very sight of the American flag at times can move me to tears. And we are heading towards a serious s**tstorm if we as a country can’t find a way to balance cultural identity with the values that we all presumably hold dear. American values.
But the laws and precedent have been followed from what I can tell. If you respect the Constitution, you just gotta swallow some bad medicine now and then.

80 Another View February 28, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I am personally insulted that anyone would wear the American Flag as a shirt. Period. I thought it was against the law to wear our flag. Wearing the flag is sooooooooooooooo not right. Our flag should be a flag not a piece of clothing to get dirty etc. It’s like wearing our flag as underwear, just awful.

81 "La Raza" is Racist February 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

That’s it. On May 5th, for now on, let’s set a Flag Stand on Four Corners. We will certainly attract attention, in the form of resentful remarks by Obama voters proving how Hateful the Left has made this once proud country.

82 Kevin February 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM

This isn’t about the American flag, or white kids being forced to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. (Which they weren’t).

This is about the safety of the students and being respectful of cultural differences.

Anybody who doesn’t get it (regardless of race or political leaning, if any) is stupid.

There’s a lot of really stupid people on Claycord.

83 Sue February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

The Mayor knew this would be Cat on a Hot Tin Roof! The good news is he hasn’t had to close the comments. Not yet anyway. I’m with Happy Friday and others. The school had to do what it had to do, and they made the right decision. So did the 9th Circuit. I never agree with the 9th! Can’t we all get along? The answer is some of us can, and some of us can’t. Proud to be in the group that can.

84 Alan February 28, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Most people here don’t understand the argument, nor are they aware of the history of racial tension and gangs at Live Oak High School. There’s been problems in the past.

The question is whether the shirts were subversive or patriotic. A lot of people here probably don’t know what subversive means.

The school felt the shirts were subversive, and so did the 9th circuit.

In this case, the shirts were subversive, and the decision stands.

85 I am stunned. And discusted. February 28, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I am half Hispanic. But, that is not the point. We were at a store and there was a huge display of “Proud to be Hispanic” type of merchandise, from coffee cups to t-shirts to signs ….. Also Mexico flags, shirts, and so on.. I asked to speak to the manager and asked if there were any “Proud to be American” or “Proud to be European” things in the store. He said quote ” You need to leave the store” I said ” Why? ” He said “Leave”. Ask my wife. I did not ask meanly. I did not ask for any other reason than I was curious if they had any since they had such a big display of Hispanic stuff. I said” This is wrong. How can you justify having this display and sell these things but not any other nationality or country? And why is my question reason to kick me out? I said to my wife, “Let’s go. This is unbelievable. I am not kidding, it was not near the 4th, but if it was I am sure they would have had US flags, I think it was in Oct. or Nov. But still. This was on Concord Ave at a drug store there…. Pins. Buttons. Shirts. All about Hispanic Pride… WOW… And as I said, I am half Hispanic. Can someone please explain how this is right. BTW about the article and court decision, they are basically saying Hispanics have no self control and are not true Americans, because a true American IMO would respect others rights to choose to wear what they want. They are saying a lot of things, none of which is American. More like CHINA or Russia… Unbelievable.. I am very sad for America today, and we need to stand up to this blatant un-American ruling.

86 encyclopedia33 February 28, 2014 at 6:29 PM

@happy Friday! My thoughts exactly!!

87 Going Out Tonight! February 28, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Alan, I totally agree. I’m saddened the shirts were worn in a subversive manner. And even more saddened by so many people who don’t understand.

88 RunDogRun February 28, 2014 at 7:21 PM

It seems to me the celebration of Cinco
De Mayo was the event that originally
created the problem and, to be fair to
all the students, should have been banned.

Next thing you know, we’ll all be required to
wear Cinco De Mayo tee shirts on May 5. Lay
down … here comes the steamroller.

89 RunDogRun February 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

@Keven. “stupid on Claycord.” You know,
of course, that includes you.

90 General Vallejo February 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM

To End the Hate We Must Separate.

91 Diane C. February 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

RunDogRun, Kevin is spelled Kevin, not Keven. You’re feeding into his theory.
Kelly, Going Out Tonight posted at 6:47 p.m.. That’s kind of early. I’m sure he or she is going out by 8:00 or so. Why would you care?
I didn’t know what subversive meant. So I looked it up. Those shirts were worn for the wrong reason, and I’m glad a lot of people saw through it. I didn’t until the really smart and open minded people made me think about it. Thanks for opening my mind.

92 JW February 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

If you really want to provoke, hand out leaflets with the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on them.

93 Just me February 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Hey at least it’s not illegal to be american….. Yet

94 mtzman February 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Wearing an American flag as clothing and with the intent to offend others, as the students in this case were clearly trying to do, is considered by many to be a desecration of the flag. The Republicans tried for many years after the Supreme Court upheld flag burning as an exercise of free speech under the First Amendment to pass a constitutional amendment that would have prohibited exactly the kind of conduct the students engaged in here. The last time they tried, in 2006, it failed by one vote from being sent to the states for ratification. The school was trying to maintain order when faced with deliberate provocation by the flag-wearing students and while I do not generally favor limits on the free exercise of speech, in this case I have to agree with the school and the courts. To do otherwise would be to allow any type of incitements and endanger the safety of our students, teachers and staff.

95 Nicholas Trist February 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM

@JW Thank You even though I was recalled by President Polk I negotiated the Treaty anyways, and the Senate thought it was better than nothing and passed it….THEN REFUSED TO PAY ME for violating the orders of some temporary occupant of the white house!

96 caskydiver February 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

This is nonsense in its highest form. I wonder what flag was flying on the flagpole outside the school or in the classrooms that day – a Mexican flag?? Cinco de Mayo is one of those “holidays” that has been popularized by American business to sell beer and tequila and profit from a “holiday” (much like July 4th, Labor Day, and even Christmas).

Since when should displaying an American flag be banned? Again, utter nonsense.

97 thedude February 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

FREEDOM OF SPEECH?
FREEDOM OF CHOICE?

what is that? I didnt know we had these anymore!

98 Antler February 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Check out regulations for display of the American flag.

It is NOT to be used as an article of clothing…..PERIOD.

99 Robert February 28, 2014 at 9:31 PM

@Kelly,101, Get some help. You need it badly. You’re extremely rude to two people, and you’re not dealing with a full deck. It’s you.

This was desecration of the flag, and maybe 10-15 get it out of 103 posts. The school made the right decision, and so did the courts.

100 Sgt. Baker February 28, 2014 at 10:01 PM

From what I remember seeing on the news, it was a picture of an American flag on a shirt not a shirt made from a flag. That means the military uniform I had to wear was flag desecrating? Maybe schools should ban all holidays in school, it would prevent the incidents from happening. Remember, Mexico briefly considered siding with the Nazis in ww2, then they came to their senses and realized they’d just get another ass beating.

101 Yhe Phantom February 28, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Easy Rider? Duck Dynasty? In the House? for the State of the Union?

I’ve seen bathing suits, short pants, and whole outfits at the Sochi Olympics.

Things are different now…I don’t like it.

102 SHUT UP!!! February 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

KELLY-STFU!!! NO ONE LIKES YOU!!

103 Cowellian February 28, 2014 at 10:51 PM

This discussion has degenerated down to STFUs, which means that any meaningful dialog has been abandoned.

104 Jess February 28, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Sgt. Baker #108, the flag code addresses how a flag pin or patch may be worn by military personnel, firemen, policemen, and patriotic organizations. I’m sure the people who put together your uniform followed the regulations. I’m shocked at how many people today have no idea what the regulations are regarding proper display and disposal of the American flag.

The Flag Code prohibits the use of the flag or an image of the flag for commercial purposes, on items of temporary use such as napkins, or on items of clothing. Theses rules are designed to maintain the dignity of our flag. In light of Supreme Court rulings regarding the desecration of the flag, it is questionable whether prohibitions against using the image of the flag on clothing could be legally enforced. However, it is still a sad day when thoughtless citizens desecrate our flag by using the image of the flag to wipe their dirty mouths or as a fashion statement, then carelessly toss the items in the trash when they are dirty or worn out. That is not how our flag should be treated.

For anyone who is unclear on what the rules are on use and display of our flag, here is a link to the law regarding care and use of the flag.

http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

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