A twelve-year-old honor student in California was smacked with a “dress code” violation for wearing…you know what I’m about to say of course…the American flag. He was told his California flag t-shirt with a superimposed American flag was a no-go by the school principal who tried to insinuate that the shirt might possibly, maybe, sort of represent a California gang called Norteno. Why? Because the shirt had a five-point star and the color red.
As Fox 40 reports, “This back-to-school season, Lori Carpenter bought a simple, patriotic T-shirt from Kohl’s for her son, Dustin Cole. She said she bought it because she liked the American flag design and the blue color.
However, last week when Dustin came home from school she noticed he was wearing the T-shirt inside out.
“I asked him why,” Carpenter said. “He said he was ‘dress coded’ at school because the stars were gang related.”
His parents said the honor student has never been in trouble, nor is he part of any gang. But school official said this seemingly simple patriotic shirt blurred the line between freedom of speech and a safety risk.
“Our local gang task force, they identify colors, they identify designs, they identify all of the things that we should be aware of,” Assistant Superintendent at Marysville Joint Unified School District, Ramiro Carreon said.
In this case, they said that the red star on the top right of the shirt is often associated with the Norteno gang.
“That design has been associated with gangs in the past, and we cannot just turn a blind eye to that,” Carreon said.
School officials said Dustin immediately complied with the principal’s request to turn his shirt inside out. But his parents are still wondering if they took this issue a little too far.
“I mean, they are trying to keep everybody safe. I understand, but it feels like it is a little too far. Especially when it is a patriotic shirt,” Carpenter said.’
Curious to see just how close this shirt actually came to symbols used by the Norteno gang, I decided to do a little research. It seems this gang, originally formed in California state prisons, uses the color red, the number 14, the letter N, occasionally the eagle from the Mexican flag and sometimes on tattoos, a five-point star. But no stripes and certainly no bears.
While I understand school principals must be concerned with student safety — and rightly so — this appears to something more. Is it a case of a school principal wanting to avoid angering certain of the school’s students because they’ll go on a violent rampage? Or could it be that school officials don’t like the mere sight of our flag?
it is California, after all.
In 2014, a court ruled that school principals and school boards may ban the wearing of the American flag apparel on Cinco de Mayo because it might make Latino students upset and there might be violence.
In March of 2015, the student council at UC Irvine tried to ban the American flag. Rather than appreciating the freedoms and liberty represented by the flag, the students called it an “example of flags that have been “flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism” and “serve as symbols of patriotism or weapons for nationalism.” Although this decision was ultimately vetoed, it shows the mentality of the ungrateful brats who supported the ban.
Whatever the reason for the removal of the flag and patriotic symbols from our schools, it’s sickening and pathetic, but perhaps it’s only the symptom of the real problem: brats who think they rule the universe. Two hundred pound infants who feel free to throw tantrums because they encounter something in life they find irritating, spoiled disrespectful juveniles who have zero tolerance for authority.
It starts at home, but the flames are fanned by public schools across the country which, in the name of “diversity,” cower in the corners of their offices and call on school resource officers to deal with the teenage tyrants they have created by removing discipline, prayer, and decency from the classroom.
The incident in a South Carolina school this week is a perfect example of schools allowing the tail to wag the dog. Had I been that student, what would have awaited me at home would have been far worse than what the deputy did. My dad would have whupped me and my mother would have said, “What did you expect? You got what you deserved.” That was back when parents did actual parenting.
[Note: This article was written by Ashley Edwardson]