Why is it that a display of patriotism by American students in an American school treated as if it was a criminal act because students of Mexican descent have a problem with it? Yet, according to the Los Angeles Times, a federal appeals court agreed with the Northern California Live Oak School as well as the Mexican heritage students who were offended when American students wore their flag shirts to school.
The case which resulted from the 2010 action taken by the school challenges the notion of freedom of speech that students rightly felt they possessed in America. The federal appeals court ruled otherwise.
Of course there is always a back story to any dispute when school officials fold to the will of detractors of the American patriotic notions of students in California who may feel their country slowly slipping away. The school administrators allegedly felt that if the students continued to wear American flag shirts on Cinco De Mayo Day, it might send the Latino students into an angry tizzy.
So in effect if you are a white student and you wear an American flag shirt on a school sanctioned Mexican holiday, then suddenly your U.S. Constitutional rights evaporate? The fact that the flag shirts were not provocative and did not display any angry words, phrases or utterances did not matter. The mere fact that it was an American flag on the shirt was enough to light a fuse for Latino students. The school rationalized their sacking of the students’ rights as a mere precaution to protect them from possible violence from Latino students.
Unfortunately the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel accepted this non-legal reasoning as a way of sanctioning the anti-American actions of the school. In effect if there are possible race-related disturbances from Latino students, that alone is now the current rationale for ripping away U.S. First Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Speaking for the majority of the appeals court panel, Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote “Live Oak had a history of violence among students, some gang-related and some drawn along racial lines… the school’s actions presciently avoided an altercation,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The most logical course of action was of course avoided by both the school officials as well as the federal appeals court. If the school administrators feared possible violence, it could have cancelled the observation of the Mexican holiday, because after all the school is in America and not in Mexico.
According to the lawyers for the American students, they will be asking that a much larger panel of judges from the federal appeals court hear the case. The FreedomX organizational attorney William Becker Jr., who handled the case agreed with the position that the school should have simply cancelled the observation of the Mexican holiday. “I am pretty astonished that in this country you can’t express your patriotic freedom without offending people of other national origins,” he stressed, reported the Los Angeles Times.
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