In Spartanburg, South Carolina, school district #4 it seems the American flag is not welcome.
Four students at Woodruff High School in Spartanburg were remembering the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001, by flying American flags from the beds of their pickup trucks on Thursday. Aaron Fulmer, the high school principal, confiscated all four flags from the boys because "it's against district policy to draw attention to one's vehicle."
The students were not punished and the flags were returned to each of them at the end of the school day. But what kind of logic is it when American flags are confiscated from students' vehicles on 9/11? I'm not the smartest guy in the world but I would guess that the flags on the boys' trucks weren't there to drew attention to their vehicles. That's what over-sized chrome rims, decals, shiny paint, big tires, stripes, loud exhausts, etc., are for, aren't they?
I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure the flags were in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks. After all - they did it on 9/11 and there's no mention of them doing it any other time. The flags were there to catch people's attention, not the trucks.
Parents of the students complained to the school and to the school board. Principal Fulmer says school officials will be meeting with student council members next week to discuss possible policy changes. That's probably a smart idea.
To his credit, the one thing Principal Fulmer did not say was that the flags "might offend someone." Remember a couple of years ago when students in California were sent home for refusing to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out because it was Cinco de Mayo? School officials said they did it to prevent the possibility of violence from the large number of Mexican and Mexican/American students they have. The only problem with that is - this is the United States of America. We are not obligated to celebrate or even recognize Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday celebrated mostly by Americans. And rather than prevent the violence on the part of the Hispanic students, the school punished the boys for being American.
The California parents took the case to court. Unfortunately, the judge bought the student safety aspect of it and the school board triumphed.
How about the case of students in Camarillo, California, being forced by school officials to remove American flag bandanas because both Camarillo and Rio Mesa high schools have a large Hispanic population and school administrators "wanted to be sensitive to other spectators." Apparently having Hispanics in your school, at least in California, means the American flag must be hidden away. It's just wrong.
I can't help but wonder if the students at any of these high schools still say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Somehow I doubt it.
Apparently a protest has been planned for Woodruff High School students and anyone else who wants to join in. It was planned for today so I'll have to watch the news to see if the story was reported. A Facebook page announced the protest: "PLEASE COME OUT MONDAY MORNING AND STAND UP FOR OUR STUDENTS RIGHTS AND OUR RIGHTS!" it says. "7:50 a.m. Sidewalk in front of high school. Bring an American flag with you!!"
That works for me.