Free-speech supporters rallied outside a Silicon Valley high school Monday morning after the 9th Circuit Court upheld the school district’s decision to ban students from wearing American flags on Cinco de Mayo.
About 30 people silently held American flags outside of Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, the San Jose Mercury News reported. “No trespassing” signs and a large fence now surrounds the school, where a nationwide controversy erupted four years ago.
Latino students had complained after four Live Oak students came to the school on the Mexican holiday wearing American flag T-shirts. Administrators told the students to turn the T-shirts inside out or go home.
“Apparently they don’t want the children to be exposed to democracy in action,” said Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots President Georgine Scott-Codiga, a local ABC affiliate reported.
The story caused nationwide controversy concerning the students’ safety and their rights to free speech. An appeals court ultimately ruled in favor of the school district, arguing that the concerns of racial violence outweighed students’ freedom-of-expression rights. Apparently, the high school had a history of problems between white and Latino students on that day.
A number of Latino residents spoke out against the rally at a recent school board meeting and urged to have it moved elsewhere. Miss Scott-Codiga promised the rally will be “peaceful,” a local CBS affiliate reported.
Morgan Hill resident Joseph Carrillo has planned a Cinco de Mayo counter-protest at the school.
“I think it’s better to promote Cinco de Mayo as Cinco de Mayo, and not as an American protest,” he said.
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