There is another bizarre story out of our public school system where a school official at Denair Middle School in Sacramento, California told 13-year-old Cody Alicea to remove an American flag from his bike because of fears that it would trigger “racial tensions.” According to this interview with the Superintendent, Cody has now been informed that he can display the American flag after a review of the supervisor’s decision — and a national outcry.
I remain perplexed by such decisions of officials. As with the mindless application of zero tolerance that we have seen on drugs and guns with absurd results, I cannot imagine why an official would view the solution to such a threat as being to silence the student’s first amendment rights. This is akin to saying, “your free speech is bothering a bully, so stop speaking.” If there is a student or students who will turn violent at the sight of an American flag, they need to be removed from the school. Ironically, Cody has been flying his flag on his bike for two months but was told to strike the colors just before Veteran’s Day. Nice timing.
There is no indication of whether the superintendent considered the decision by this official to be fundamentally at odds with free speech and good judgment. Superintendent Edward Parraz agrees that “the First Amendment is important” but adds “[o]ur Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want. We want them to appreciate the cultures.” The evidence of such appreciation of other cultures appears to be forced silence. It is rather easy to achieve the appearance of cultural harmony when when students are told to be silent on their cultural or national values. The idea is to promote pluralism with the expression of different views — not claiming success by avoiding any expression (and rejection) of views.
The official insists that he or she was trying to protect Cody, but that is a rather sad statement when students are taught that they should hide their views to avoid being attacked in our public schools. If that is the reality of the situation at Denair Middle School, the entire school needs to be placed under special supervision with added measures to protect the students and their free speech rights.
127 thoughts on “Middle School Student Told To Remove American Flag To Avoid Racial Tensions”
mespo is that why you or anyone else hasn’t even tried to refute my explanation that enacting monetary equilibrium would give everyone numerical monetary equality and at the same time utterly annihilate its purchasing power or usefulness as a medium of exchange or even addressed your pyschopathic commander in chief being ok with child soldiers as long as theyre on his side? As Ive already told someone else on this blog, your faith is sadly misplaced.
I am a patient man, but insulting the women of Vega Reticuli is just too much sir.
Also, I heard that you’re a bad kisser.
Speaking of nonsequitars, Left Hand’s doing another batch of their oak aged Imperial Stout. It’s well worth making a special effort to get. Second best Russian Imperial Stout I’ve ever had, and I’ve had A LOT.
“I do think that many people don’t want to address the issues that are the cause of the problems–maybe because they seem so overwhelming. It’s easier to blame all the problems on teachers and the schools.” (Elaine M.)
This is the crux of it, isn’t it…
As with most things, it’s helpful, at times, to focus on “the good”, which isn’t to say that we ingore the bad… (I think you pointed this out in one of your comments.)
I agree that schools have to address all the problems they are faced with–sensibly. I certainly don’t believe in instituting zero tolerance policies–especially in elementary schools. I do think that many people don’t want to address the issues that are the cause of the problems–maybe because they seem so overwhelming. It’s easier to blame all the problems on teachers and the schools.
I do know there are teachers who should NOT be teaching. My daughter had a couple of those in high school. My daughter wouldn’t let me speak to administration about one particular teacher. As soon as my daughter graduated, I had a talk with the school principal about the teacher. I think a few other parents did also. That teacher was gone a year later.
“The public schools have to deal with all the problems/issues that children who are members of such families and communities bring to class. Not all the problems should be blamed on teachers and public schools. Public schools and teachers are dealing with the symptoms of a troubled society. I think we need to get at the roots of the societal problems first. It’s like a doctor getting the correct diagnose before he/she can determine the appropriate treatment for a patient’s medical problem(s).”
I typed a lengthy response yesterday that didn’t post… — probably a lost signal on this end.
(Just in case you missed it, I posted a comment on 1, November 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm before the “clarification”, that prompted your response. Hopefully, you saw it.)
First, never in a million years would I count you among the willfully blind, of whom I was speaking. 🙂
Second, I think that we see pretty much eye-to-eye on the subject of public school education — I certainly agree with almost everything you’ve said above. Where we seem to differ slightly is on the approach to treatment, so to speak.
You said, “I think we need to get at the roots of the societal problems first. It’s like a doctor getting the correct diagnose before he/she can determine the appropriate treatment for a patient’s medical problem(s).”
As you’ve said, we need to get at the root causes and I agree completely. But I think we have to go further and your medical analogy works well. Sometimes, one has to treat the symptoms and/or some sort of secondary infection, while trying to figure out/solve the underlying “root” problem/s.
Now, how one treats the symptoms or “secondary infections”, in the case of failing or troubled schools is another question, and a topic for another time…
Thanks for your insights, as an educator. As I said in the comment which you may have missed, both of my parents were teachers. I don’t fault the good teachers for the problems in our schools. As you say, the problem today is, largely, a societal one..
what do you expect from a bunch of science fiction loving Noel Schemskys?
They probably think the women on Alpha Cygnus are hotter than the ones on Vega Reticuli. Their ideas on everything else are just as far out in made-up space.
“you should huddle up and get your shit together.”
We do – and we see it deposited in every comment you make.
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