According to Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware in the People’s Republic of San Francisco, wearing an American flag in an AMERICAN high school is racially incendiary and thus is not protected by the first amendment.
For those of you not familiar with the story, several “Anglo” students wore shirts with American flags on them on Cinco de Mayo. They were threatened with suspension and sent home when they refused to change. This was supposedly to protect them from the “Mexican-American” students. (The use of Anglo and Mexican-American qualifiers was the judge’s, not mine.) Here is a link to the original story on Fox News. My favorite quote from the original story was this doozy, “Freshman Laura Ponce, who had a Mexican flag painted on her face and chest, told the Morgan Hill Times that Cinco de Mayo is the ‘only day’ Mexican-American students can show their national pride.” I would respectfully suggest to Miss Ponce, that as a “Mexican-American”, you would show your “national pride” by painting an American flag on your face and chest.
Back to what is sure to be a hallmark of jurisprudence, Judge Ware’s decision…
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, the lawsuit filed by the students “accused school officials of violating the standard that the Supreme Court set in 1969 when it upheld students' right to wear black armbands to class, in a silent protest against the Vietnam War, and said schools can suppress student expression only when it threatens to disrupt the educational process.” But Judge Ware had a response; he said “post-1969 rulings by federal courts have deferred to school officials' conclusions that certain types of student expression could endanger the speakers - for example, decisions by three appellate courts upholding bans on the Confederate flag in schools with histories of racial tension.” So according to Judge Ware, wearing an American flag in the People’s Republic of California is as racially incendiary as wearing a Confederate flag in the south.
After reading this, I thought that surely this high school must be located in an East LA barrio. Maybe school officials made the correct decision. I did some quick research on this “racially charged” high school and community.
Here is the information I found. I’ll let you decide if this high school is located in East LA.
Live Oak High School Sports (not a complete listing):
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Water polo
Morgan Hill, California demographic information:
- Population – 38,547
- Median household income - $95,968 ($37,000 above the state average)
- Median house or condo value: $647,883 ($265,000 above the state average)
- Mean price for free-standing homes: $835,769
Wow! With the pressure of running from water polo practice to your next badminton match, how did poor little Laura Ponce find the energy to paint her face and chest? Her hair stylist must have done it for her.
So, the moral of the story devoted readers is this: Your first amendment rights will be upheld as long as you are a threat to trample the first amendment rights of others. If you are a peaceful, patriotic, law-abiding student, you have no first amendment rights, because the people you might offend might be violent.