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Students booted from school for wearing American flag T-shirts; Roger Ebert proposes solution

May 7, 2010 |  7:28 am

05-07-flag

Sure, it all makes sense.

Why should American kids be allowed to wear T-shirts with the American flag printed on them in America?

Thankfully one high school administrator was equally outraged and sent the offenders home for it.

Five kids attending Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., decided to wear patriotic clothing (T-shirts and bandannas with the American flag on them) on Cinco de Mayo.  Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez told them that the clothing was inappropriate for the holiday and to ditch the bandannas and turn their shirts inside out or go home.

The kids chose option B.  And now the town of Morgan Hill finds itself in the middle of a controversy.

One of the students, Daniel Galli, said school officials told him they could wear their patriotic garb any other day, but "but today is sensitive to Mexican Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."

That's what Annicia Nunez, another Live Oak High student, thinks: "We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."

The school district seems to be wincing at the whole affair releasing a statement Thursday explaining that they "don't prohibit nor do we discourage wearing patriotic clothing."

"The incident on May 5 at Live Oak High School is extremely unfortunate," the statement reads. "While campus safety is our primary concern and administrators made decisions yesterday in an attempt to ensure campus safety, students should not, and will not, be disciplined for wearing patriotic clothing. This matter is under investigation and appropriate action will be taken."

Meanwhile, the issue has erupted in the blogosphere.

"What country is Morgan Hill in again?" asks conservative blogger Conn Carroll. "When Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day or Columbus Day, don’t we always see American flags flying right along side Irish and Italian ones? Why are the Mexican Americans at Live Oak High so insulted by the flag of the country that they live in? Do they not consider themselves Americans first?

Progressives might disagree with Carroll.  They may argue that the students' actions fly in the face of all President Obama has done to apologize to the rest of the world for our country.

Like film critic Roger Ebert.  He has a solution.

"Kids who wear American Flag T-shirts on 5 May should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on 4 July," he tweeted.

-- Jimmy Orr

Photo:  One of the offending T-shirts worn by a Live Oak High School student.  Credit: YouTube

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