California School Bans American Flag?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by bugwar, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. bugwar

    bugwar Emperor

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  2. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    This actually happened in my high school a few years back. The t-shirts weren't banned, the AP asked the students (who were intentionally wearing them to offend Mexican students) to remove the shirts because he felt the safety of the school was being compromised. When the students balked, the AP sent the students home for the day. That Assistant Principal was run out of town over this.

    It should also be remembered that students do not have full freedom of speech rights while on school property. Live Oak High School bans outright the wearing of blue and red colors on shoelaces, some baseball caps, and the wearing of bandanas of any kind in the interest of avoiding gang violence.
     
  3. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    Not that I like schools regulating what their students are wearing, but a flag on a shirt is "speech" now? Come on.
     
  4. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_clothing

    This is a school which has had serious issues with gang violence in the past. The school on the other side of town (Sobrato High School) had a major fight involving 40 kids just the year before this happened. At the beginning of the year all students have to read and sign off on the school's policies, which essentially state that a) your rights to freedom of speech don't necessarily apply here, b) you aren't allowed to wear certain types of clothing on campus (blue/red shoelaces, etc.), c) the school reserves the right to censure the clothing you wear if they feel it compromises the safety of the school and its students.

    This is such a nonissue and the lower court (presumably the one in Morgan Hill) rightly tossed the case out and laughed the grandstanding parents out of court.
     
  5. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    I think this is one of those things where they may have genuinely been an issue, but the punitive and reactionary measures used to deal with it just made it all worse. For instance if some kids wanted to wear an American flag on Cinco de Mayo just to be crass and offensive, yes that is something to deal with. But just banning it and disciplining them would likely only make those kids (and their parents!) even more vociferous with their chest-puffing pro-America stuff. If some kids were just kidding around and didn't want to do anything other than just be mean, maybe it pushes them over the line into true-believer territory. "See? We are losing this country!" It lends unfortunate heft to whatever jingoism and xenophobia may motivate this sort of stuff.

    I agree schools have the right to strictly regulate clothing and so on but I am just saying ideally, there might be more of a component for dialogue. That's my hopeless liberal rant anyway.
     
  6. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    It was only an issue when the parents got up in arms about the presumed "rights" of their kids which were being trampled (read: they made a show out of it for the media attention). By all accounts (other than the parents'), the AP went about it in a rather unassuming way. He didn't "confront them", or "order them to remove their shirts", he merely stated that he felt the safety of the school was compromised and the students could either turn out their shirts or go home. This stuff literally happens on a daily basis with kids coming to school with shirts that are too red or blue, with the only difference being that the school asks them to wear their gym shirts or go home, rather than simply turning the shirt inside-out.
     
  7. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    @Owen Glyndwr: Not that I'm disagreeing with you per se, but how is the red and blue associated with gang violence? Is there a gang or something that used the American "patriotic" colors as its symbols, either coincidentally or intentionally?
     
  8. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    Red is a color which has been adopted by the Norteños (also by the Bloods, although I wouldn't say they have much of a presence at all in the south Bay). They're also identifiable by "N" and "XIV" graffiti which is visible all throughout Northern California. They have a very strong presence around the Bay. The Rival gang, the Sureños, have adopted blue and grey as their colors, and use "XIII" as a distinguishing mark of their gang. Incidentally that's what "ese" means - it's a reference to a compatriot of the Sureño gang. Members of the respective gangs wear those colors to identify each other and to "rep" them. Norteño members commonly wear red sports jerseys and hats, such as Nebraska, SF 49ers, K Swiss, and just bright red t-shirts. Sureños commonly wear Dodgers paraphernalia, Rams, Padres, Yankees, Cowboys, etc. These two gangs have a bitter rivalry with each other going back 30 or 40 years and violence between them isn't uncommon. Because both gangs recruit heavily and have a fairly strong presence in Morgan Hill most of the schools ban the wearing of colors affiliated with those two gangs. This stuff was banned at my Middle School too.
     
  9. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    Ah, I see. That makes sense.
     
  10. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    Yeah I assume this becomes an issue once parents get involved. As usual. Are we talking about different things though? The OP article seems to be about flag shirts on cinco de mayo. A more general gang related policy would seem more than justified to me. Is this the same school and policy at play?

    Still, if the AP just said "turn them inside out or go home" without anything else, it's easy cannon-fodder for angry uber-patriot/Mexican hating parents. Not that I have any particular brilliant ideas myself but...yeah.
     
  11. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    A shirt is not a flag.
     
  12. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    This isn't a free speech issue, it's a hate 'speech' issue. You lose your right to free speech once you start to use your speech to deliberately start conflicts and sow hate.

    It's a pity none of those parents have the brains to realise this and think this is another move of the Mexican conspiration to take over the United States.
     
  13. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    :shrug: I just don't see them as any different. Gang policies are implemented to ensure the safety of the students and faculty in the school. The AP legitimately felt that the wearing of those shirts on that day in that context was creating a dangerous environment. In his interviews about it he said as much; he felt that if he didn't act there was going to be violence, so he stepped in.
     
  14. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    This. Although I'm excited by this new USA #1 gang.
     
  15. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Also, there is the danger that someone would have attempted their Constitutional right to burn the flag.
     
  16. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    I dunno. To me, not all safety concerns are the same. I think this particular issue might not require the sort of heavy handedness, or present the same immediate danger, that a gang related safety concern might.
     
  17. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Looks like the school made the correct call. If they are regularly concerned that clothing choices can lead to violence though, they ought to switch to uniforms.
     
  18. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    so are Mexican flags on shirts banned as well?
     
  19. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    This is actually a great way to promote Californian independence!

    Provided they don't ban Californian flags of course...
     
  20. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos The Eternal

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