Five kids attending Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California decided to wear patriotic clothing on Cinco de Mayo Wednesday. The kids are proud Americans, and weren’t trying to disrespect anyone at school. They were simply showing their pride for their country… much as many of their Mexican-American friends did that day with their own colors. However, the principal at the school wasn’t amused.
He called the teens into his office, and demanded they turned their shirts inside-out for the remainder of the day. He said it was disrespectful for them to have worn such articles of clothing on the Mexican holiday. One student said that “today is sensitive to Mexican Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today.” Student Anthony Caravalho was also sent home for not turning his shirt inside out. “They said we had to wear our t-shirts inside out and then we could go back to class and we said no,” said Caravalho. “It would be disrespectful to the flag by hiding it.”
This blows my mind. The last time I checked, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated in Mexico. I am not belittling the tradition, nor anyone living in America who may celebrate it. However, it is not an American holiday. This school is in America, and the kids attending had every right to wear clothing bearing our national flag. Had the kids been in Mexico it would have been a different story. If Mexican-Amercian students and families wish to celebrate their heritage on May 5th, that is wonderful. However, I fail to understand why this particular school administrator felt that it was something to be revered by all Americans.
It isn’t disrespectful to wear – or wave – our country’s colors in my opinion… not on any day of the year. If I were in Mexico attending a conference during the 4th of July, would it be okay for me to demand that the natives nearby stop wearing symbols of their country or flag? It’s preposterous. The principal has purportedly issued an apology, but that’s not enough. He should be forced to wear red, white and blue every day for the rest of his life.