Yesterday, I posted a lesson on the First Amendment. It seems that the Mexican American students and their supporters took the advice of adding speech on top of more speech to heart. On Thursday, 200 students walked out of the classrooms of Live Oak High School and marched to the school district headquarters.
All I can say is: Go you!
Aren’t you happy that the First Amendment (kinda*) allows you to do that?!
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One thing bugs me about the news article and what it reported about the motives about the marchers:
“The students say they want people to know they’re proud of their heritage and they believe wearing red, white and blue on Cinco de Mayo is disrespectful.”
I get how wearing red, white, and blue could be construed as disrespectful. But, the school district cannot force people to change just because it’s disrespectful. If that was true, I’d petition the school districts to ban Spandex from being worn. (Spandex-wearers are disrespecting my vision! But I digress.)
I applaud you for how you’re trying to get respect, though. You’re marching, you’re using the First Amendment for good. You get many props for that. There’s honor in the way you chose to get your message out. My only message to you would be: allow others to do the same.
* What’s with the “kinda”? Again, Tinker allows school officials to limit free speech if that speech disrupts school operations. Walking out of the classroom (and essentially skipping class) is a major disruption – more so than a “fight”. The school officials could punish these kids for their walk-out without violating the First Amendment. Furthermore, each of those students could be detained by a police officer for skipping school, since they are breaking the compulsory education laws of California. But, given the state of things surrounding this entire controversy, I doubt any of these students will be punished.
Really think about that. Now, compare that to the shirts. Regardless of what you may think about wearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, what happened to the Live Oak Five was just wrong.