Jennie's Journey

Wake up...America!

I don't know what is wrong with principals and school officials in Southern California, but someone needs to check the water.

For the second time this year, school officials in that region of the country have been under fire for forbidding a student (or group of students) from displaying the American flag in some fashion.

In honor of Veterans Day and those who have lain their lives on the line for flag and country, a young middle schooler wanted to display the red, white and blue on his bicycle. He planned to ride his bicycle to school but his principal told him he could not display the flag on the bike.

Of course, there was a firestorm and the principal later apologized, but this is not an isolated incident.

Last May there were several students at a Southern California high school wearing the American flag on their t-shirts. The incident coincided with the Cinco de Mayo celebration and the students wearing the flag of the nation in which they reside were informed their t-shirts had to be worn inside-out or the students would have to leave the campus.

However, any students wanting to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by displaying the Mexican flag at school were permitted to do so.

WHAT? Either the administration should have allowed those wanting to display Old Glory to do so, or all students should have been prohibited from displaying any flag.

I do not support prohibiting the display of the U.S. flag, in any way, however. If an administrator told my child he or she could not display the U.S. flag on his or her clothing, you betcha I would raise a ruckus.

This is the U.S. and the flag is a symbol of all this country stands for. It is to be displayed in front of any government building, including schools...and, last time I checked the U.S. flag is displayed at the front of every classroom in our public schools.

As much as I respect ethnic diversity and the promotion of cultural understanding, I do not believe the Mexican flag has superiority over the U.S. flag in any state within the union.

School officials can cite every reason in the book for prohibiting students from displaying their pride in the U.S. flag, but no reason will meet muster with me.

In last week's incident and in the case from last spring, school officials cited ethnic conflicts behind their decisions. Uh...this is America, and the flag of the U.S.A. trumps any and all ethnic concerns.

School officials should be more concerned with educating youngsters about the constitutional right to display the U.S. flag. It is their job to educate the youngsters regarding the fact that this is, indeed, the United States and the red, white and blue is front stage in this country to any other nation's flag, as long as this is the United States.

Granted, educators also must work to ease ethnic conflicts. This should be done by instilling American pride and explaining to other "ethnic groups" the meaning of living in the U.S.

I don't believe the display of a nation's flag is an ethnic issue. The flag represents a country, not a culture or ethnic group. And, I don't believe any one ethnic group should be provided preferential treatment because, in theory, we are all of one ethnicity...American.


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