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Student Punished for Wearing American Flag Shirt: Right Call?

Students protested by wearing red, white, and blue duds to school after a fellow student was punished for wearing an American flag shirt. The sophomore wore the tee, which featured a tie-dyed flag motif and the words, "United States of America, Washington, DC" on the school's "hippie day," part of their homecoming festivities. The school's assistant principle deemed the shirt a violation of the school's dress code which forbids, "shirts/blouses that promote specific races, cultures, or ethnicities."

For wearing the flag shirt, the student was forced to remove it and wear a bright yellow tee in its place that read, "DCV: Dress Code Violator." His sister said the punishment shirt was pretty traumatic, "It was really embarrassing and humiliating to have to wear that all day — and just for supporting your country." The school has since reversed its decision amid the protest and publicity. The superintendent says that the assistant principle felt it was in violation of the dress code, but they've now changed their interpretation of the clause. He says, "Certainly we are taking responsibility for it and it will not happen again. A shirt that has an American flag, a shirt that has a Chinese flag or a Mexican flag, is certainly not a violation of that part of the dress code." District officials have apologized to the student, and the student body turned out fully clad in red, white, and blue the following day.

Was the administrator right to interpret the clause as she did?


Join The Conversation
Kalliefornia Kalliefornia 8 years
Do they not stand up every morning and make students say the pledge of allegiance to that flag??
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I don't see the problem with allowing all flag shirts, except for the obviousily offensive shirts (confederate, nazi, etc...) as we are from different countries.
hil34 hil34 8 years
Aren't you just being patriotic if you wear an american flag t-shirt?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I think the thing is, the school wanted to prevent offensive shirts, but judging what would be offensive could be tricky. I mean, a girl in my high school wore one of those "abortion is murder" sweatshirts pretty much every day to school, and I felt so sorry for any of the girls at the school who had gotten one! Instead of putting a judgment over what was offensive, they did something REALLY common and just banned all shirts with symbols and writing. Now they are trying to backpeddle, to allow shirts with flags, but think, when they first wrote this rule, who was going to think to say, "we should allow flag shirts though!" I think it's much ado about nothing. The kid violated the code, and then they thought a little more about a way to make the code work and still allow kids to wear flag shirts. So, the kid did a really good thing, and all is well. I highly doubt the school is anti-patriotic.
sarasonne sarasonne 8 years
So does this school recite the Pledge of Alegiance in the mornings?
omega2 omega2 8 years
RIDICULOUS!!!!! And the fact that they purposely humiliated the student? Even worse!
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
I think schools go too far with the wrong things when it comes to dress code. I understand no gang prints, your skirt and shirts can only be but so high -for obvious reasons, no foul words or anything else that could insult the average person or the mentally ill. But this kind of shirt wearing should have been left alone by the school.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
What! This is America. If she wants to wear the flag print on her shirt then so what. Boy does this country come up with the dumbest things to make a big deal out of.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Oh come on, obviously the school didn't want people wearing Puerto Rican flag shirts to school on PR pride days, and the easiest way to prevent this way to have this rule. However, they realized how stupid it was, which is fine. Good for the student who broke the rule and made a fuss. This cracks me up though: "For wearing the flag shirt, the student was forced to remove it and wear a bright yellow tee in its place that read, "DCV: Dress Code Violator." His sister said the punishment shirt was pretty traumatic, "It was really embarrassing and humiliating to have to wear that all day — and just for supporting your country."" Yes, I'm sure he was so upset, kids in high school live for that sort of notoriety, I'm sure kids at my hs wished tee-shirts were given out when they got in trouble.
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
Ridiculous bs.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I agree, colormesticky. This isn't "liberal pc crap," this is just crap.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
Sugasuga, I think the liberals are in agreement that this is completely stupid. Who cares what Anne Coulter thinks- this was one person's bad judgement.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
WOW. That really pisses me off..
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
All I can say is that I'm glad they reversed the decision. But the fact that it happened in the first place baffles me.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
political correctness is tyranny in disguise.... This punishment and rules are ridiculous. I went to a christian school (st john lutheran baby! Go Saints!) and i was a bit...different. I wore a red hot chili peppers shirt once, the one where they are naked except for tube socks, Homeroom i was told to turn it inside out and that was it, no public humiliation, no trip to the pastors office.....
Sugasuga29 Sugasuga29 8 years
Ann Coulter will have a field day with well she should. This is one of the more ridiculous examples of liberal pc crap I've heard in awhile.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
There's definitely a point where PC becomes ridiculous. I totally agree.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Haha, that's pretty good GS.
katrina1020 katrina1020 8 years
Ha, Yesteryear! Do you expect this sort of thing out of the USVI? I am from there, and, I have to admit, being PC is not really normal there.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
The following is the 2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year a definition required for the contemporary term, 'Political Correctness'. The winner wrote: 'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.'
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
My public probably didn't follow the rules very well. We always celebrated Christmas and Easter. In class we used symbols that weren't overtly religious, like Easter Eggs, Easter Bunnies, Santa, Christmas Trees, etc. In choir/music class, however, we always sand religious songs. It always struck me as kind of odd. I do have to say that the elementary school I attended still celebrates Easter and Christmas, even though the breaks are technically Spring Break and Winter Break. They still have a Christmas Tree (well, it's a giving tree). They also still have an Easter Egg decorating contest. I guess it's different in different areas, though. I grew up in a town without much diversity; there was a huge Catholic population and those who weren't Catholic either practiced another form of Christianity or weren't religious. (They weren't typically atheists, they just weren't religious in any way.) Come to think of it, I can't remember one friend I had growing up who wasn't Christian. Hmmm... We also had a picture of Jesus in my elementary school, but that was challenged by the ACLU several years back and taken down. Anyway, I am rambling.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
There's definitely a point where PC becomes ridiculous.
geebers geebers 8 years
When I was younger and in public school in NYC we celebrated Christmas and Easter. Later in college I was assisting teachers as my after-school job and they were not allowed to say Christmas or Easter- it became Winter or Spring holiday events. They could not use anything associated with christmas or easter (like easter eggs). It was so silly- and I loved doing stuff for those days. I mean Christmas- you can use santa, decorate at tree, etc. I loved doing easter egg hunts too. It makes me sad that these things are considered inappropriate. I was not raised Christian but my family always celebrated the parts that are more for kids and not religious and no one was offended. People are just going a bit too far now.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Wait, Yesteryear it was in Merced ahaahha my dad lives in Turlock near Modesto in Stanislus County which is not far away and I have been to Merced County before and work with someone from there. I agree that's truly odd, because most of these areas are very tight-knit all the kids and families tend to know each other....but over all the schools are good and the areas are pretty progressive, not as liberal the Bay Area but pretty liberal.
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