Students sent home for wearing American flag clothing on Cinco de Mayo

Live Oak High School students from left, Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano and Dominic Maciel were sent home from school Wednesday because they were wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Photo by: Lora Schraft

Live Oak High School students from left, Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano and Dominic Maciel were sent home from school Wednesday because they were wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Photo by: Lora Schraft

Five Morgan Hill students sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts

Lindsay Bryant
Gilroy Dispatch
5/5/2010

Five Live Oak High School students’ First Amendment rights were challenged this morning when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. Officials at the school chose not to comment on the situation, but one student said an official called the T-shirts “incendiary.”
“They said we were starting a fight, we were fuel to the fire,” said sophomore Matt Dariano.

The Morgan Hill Unified School District issued this statement: “In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today. The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration’s interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.”…

…The boys were told they must turn their T-shirts inside-out or be sent home – and that it would not be considered a suspension – but that Rodriguez did not want any fights to break out among Mexican-American students and those wearing American flags. Dariano said other students were wearing American flags but since they were a group of five “we were the easiest target to cause trouble” according to Rodriguez, he said.

Freshman Laura Ponce shows off her Mexican pride as she wears a Mexican flag over her shoulders and wears facepaint Wednesday as she waits for school to get out at Live Oak. Photo by: Lora Schraft

Freshman Laura Ponce shows off her Mexican pride as she wears a Mexican flag over her shoulders and wears facepaint Wednesday as she waits for school to get out at Live Oak. Photo by: Lora Schraft

The boys told Rodriguez and Boden that turning their T-shirts inside-out was disrespectful, so their parents opted to take them home…

…One Mexican-American student, freshman Laura Ponce, had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, peaking out of her low-cut shirt. She did it because, “it’s our day, the only day we can show our spirit.” A school administrator took away the Mexican flag she was carrying as she was waiting to go home. Ponce said: “not cool.”…

The entire article is at GilroyDispatch.com

H/T Dennis Miller Radio Show

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