Thursday, April 06, 2006

Students suspended for wearing shirts with US flag after all flags banned from the school

More fallout from all the demonstrations students ditching class in favor of illegal immigration and on the heels of suppressed counter-protests like the one organized by Josh Denhalter.

DENVER -- Several students at Shaw Heights Middle School have been disciplined for wearing shirts that depict the American flag, an act that is in direct violation of the public school's recent ban on all flags, depictions of flags, or flag colors on student clothing.

One student said he was suspended for wearing a DARE program shirt with a flag behind the logo. Another student said she was sent home for wearing a Marine Corps shirt. Another student told reporters that she was told to turn her Marine Corps shirt inside out and when she did and then turned it back the right way, she was suspended.

Schools such as Shaw Heights in Westminster, Colo., and Skyline High School in Longmont, Colo., have enacted bans on all flags -- American and Mexican -- as a way to diffuse the confrontations students have engaged in because of the recent immigration debate.

Shaw Heights Principal Myla Shepherd implemented the flag and clothing ban last week after several incidents, including one in which about 25 students wore camouflaged clothing on one day, Deb Haviland, director of communications and community relations for Adams County School District 50, told The Associated Press.

Beyond the obviously stupid thought process to ban all flags over the controversy surrounding American students who brandish the Mexican flag, Colorado law apparently protects the display of the American flag. Not allowing an individual to display it is illegal.

Think the ACLU will come to the aid of the students wearing the American flag?

Me neither...

UPDATE: Sorry... preemptively slammed the ACLU (can you blame me though?), but I finished reading the piece and the ACLU did give the story a small soundbite.

The American Civil Liberties Union is also sounding off on the issue.

"Students have a right of expression that includes the right to express their views on the controversies of their times, and they can do so through symbols as well as words. Students' right of expression in public schools should be given as much room as possible. Thus, instead of restricting expression, school officials should encourage students to reflect, to analyze, and to express their views. Schools should also teach students how to grapple appropriately with controversial issues and with persons who hold opposing views," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

Of course the ACLU spokes-hole is referring to the display of all flags, not just the American flag, so I'd still say that that doesn't count...