Summary: In May 2010 at Live Oak High School in California, a few students were given the option of either turning their t-shirts inside out, or to go home. They were given this option because it was a “Cinco de Mayo” celebration, and their shirts had the American Flag on them. As anyone could have guessed, the students were not happy about what they were told to do, neither were their families. The issue was taken to the local district courts, and now may become a federal case. The school is arguing that it was necessary to the protection of the students because they were afraid of any racial tension that may have arisen from the American flag adorned shirts, on a day like “Cinco de Mayo”. And the students and their families argue that the school telling them to do so infringes upon their first amendment rights.
Analysis: The fact that students were told to hide their clothing because it had the American flag on it is ludicrous, even more so because this issue took place in the United States. This would be a different story if a student wore an American flag shirt in North Korea. But like we’ve talked about in class, we live in a country that was founded upon basic rights, our Constitution when drafted guaranteed us certain rights. The 1st amendment guarantees that the students at Live Oak High School the right to wear those t-shirts, and restricts the school from doing anything about it. The shirts themselves weren’t in bad taste, nor offensive; I cant say the same about the intentions of the students because I don’t know, but either way it doesn’t matter because it is our first amendment right. I for one think it should be encouraged that students show “Old Glory” everyday, there are countless things that people could do that are a lot worse. If this does make it to a Federal Court I am confident that the school’s actions will be deemed unconstitutional, if not I will have lost a little bit of faith in this country, and whatever faith I had left in California.