cinco de mayo
I sometimes wonder what the thought process some people use, if any, when they make decisions like this:
On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.
Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.
“They said we could wear it on any other day,” Daniel Galli said, “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today.”
The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts “incendiary” that would lead to fights on campus.
I wonder – would Mexican-Americans wearing a Mexican flag to school on the 4th of July be considered “incendiary?” Oh, wait, we’ll never know. The 4th of July is a national holiday and school is out in the United States.
Cinco de Mayo – a “holiday” developed by bar owners as an excuse to sell more Mexican beer. It’s historic significance? It is the date the Mexican army beat the French army at the battle of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico it’s pretty much only celebrated in Puebla. It’s kind of like us celebrating the battle of New Orleans when we thumped the Brits. The only thing that might conceivably be considered “bad taste” would be wearing a French flag – and they lost.
I have no idea if this Vice Principal knows this, but he completely blew this out of proportion regardless. Had he simply ignored it, the day probably would have passed without incident. More infuriating, at least to me, is he (or she) decided the celebration of a bogus foreign “holiday” in the United States took precedence over displaying or showing the flag of the United States – which he considered “incendiary”. I wonder if the school had decided not to fly it on the school’s US flag that day for the same reason?
The good news? The district left the Vice Principle out on that limb all by himself, exactly where he belongs. In their press release they said:
The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration’s interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.
Good on ya, “district”.