Where Is The Tolerance?

6 05 2010

I find it interesting that if this would have happened in reverse, Mexican flags on the Fourth of July, the ACLU would have been vocally up in arms about this:

MORGAN HILL, Calif. – The parents of five Live Oak High School students met with the Morgan Hill Unified School District Wednesday night to find out why their kids got in trouble for wearing American flag attire on Cinco de Mayo.”I have no problem with them wearing their Mexico flags anything like that; I just thought I’d show my pride, my American pride,” said Live Oak High School student Dominic Macio.

Dominic Macio and two friends decided to show their patriotic pride, and left school early instead of getting suspended. A group of five students wore shirts, pants, bandanas, even shoes with the American flag to school Wednesday. Two of the kids are Mexican American, and didn’t think it would be a problem, but the principal disagreed.

“They told us basically we take it off or we can get suspended, they threatened us with suspension, and so we all decided that we are just going to leave school.” Matthew Dariano

Matthew Dariano also walked out. He told me a lot of students wore American flags today and didn’t get in trouble. His mom who is Mexican American said her son wears the American flag to school regularly.

What lesson in tolerance are we teaching these students if they are forced to suppress their beliefs because it might start a fight?  I believe the bigger lesson should be teaching the Mexican-American children that they need to tolerate the U.S. flag here, no matter what day it is.  Celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a courtesy and displays tolerance and acceptance of the multicultural nature of America, but that seems to be missed in this entire discussion.

Even more disturbing is the difference in these articles.  The quote above is from this article, “Students In Trouble For Wearing American Flag Attire On May 5th” from Fox News channel KCBA.  Reading in the article you will notice that they mention that two of the students that were called on this issue have parents that are considered to be Mexican-American.  Another article: “Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees” never mentions that some of the students wearing flag paraphernalia were of Mexican descent.  You might be able to infer that from one of the student’s name which is mentioned, but his appears to be of Portugese descent.

Fortunately the second article does mention that the school board did not agree with the Principal’s decision to force the students to change their clothes or go home.  This would have been a teachable moment of tolerance that was bypassed by the adults in charge.  Apparently they either did not wish to impart that wisdom, or were just intolerant themselves.

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