California School District Bans Flags, Patriotism, Speech

Reacting to growing strife over immigration issues, one San Diego school district has “banning all symbols of patriotism, both U.S. and Mexican.” The rationale: “School officials in Oceanside now say that flags — whether they are U.S. or Mexican or any other country’s — have now become a divider on campuses, saying that some students are using them to taunt other students.”

The ACLU is getting involved and for good reason, noting that the Supreme Court has taken a dim view of blanket bans on expression. “The school has to be able to show a strong likelihood that there is going to material and substantial disruption of school, and if they don’t meet that standard, then they can’t censor student speech,” said Kevin Neenan of the ACLU.

Ace observes that, “Loose immigration allows in more and more people actively hostile to the US every day.” That’s almost certainly true, although it also lets in plenty of those huddled masses of lore, yearning to breathe free.

Still, that’s almost beside the point in this case. What we have here is almost certainly just a school board going overboard in reacting to some minor incidents rather than any great statements on immigration or patriotism. That they chose an incredibly cowardly, un-American course of action is noteworthy, to be sure, but a sign of gutlessness rather than politics.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. RA says:

    What do you expect from the American hating liberals that run our government schools.

  2. Jonk says:

    This is indeed a dark day.

  3. DaveD says:

    An American flag flying over an American schoolyard is now considered a cause of divisiveness. How utterly pathetic.

  4. akdfjo says:

    The ACLU is getting involved and for good reason, noting that the Supreme Court has taken a dim view of blanket bans on expression.

    Well, if the leftwing bums from the ACLU are against this, then it can’t be all bad. The ACLU are total communists. Whatever they oppose, patriots should support.

  5. Jack Ehrlich says:

    For a school which is supported by U.S. taxpayers dollars to ban the flying of our national flag is beyond the pale. Those who made this decision should be fired. This is America, not Mexico. You do not get to fly other natiions flags on our property. That is the supreme disrespect for those who died for this nation. If you want to fly the Mexican flag. Go to where that is encouraged, Mexico.

  6. 1. Sounds like treason to me. How do we go about prosecuting the school officials?

    2. A generation or so ago, liberals insisted on cutting off all federal education money to schools that did not embrace affirmative action. Using that precedent, isn’t it time to cut off all federal funding for institutions that violate the other civil rights of their students?

  7. ken says:

    Once again conservatives prove they are mental midgets. The school has a flagpole and every day they raise the flags of California and of the United States on it. But when the students bring ‘colors’ to school and use them, not as symbol of expression, but to taunt others then the school administration has a responsibility to intervene. Before ‘freedom of expression’ comes student safety. This is well established practice supported by the law, courts, and common sense. It allows schools to ban gang colors or gang dress on campus. Many times students complain that it is an infringement on their ‘freedom of expression’ but this is outweighed by the need for safety of the children.

    I trust the administration before I trust any of the right wing wackoes here to determine what is best for the students in that particular school at this particular time. If they were doing this for any reason other than to prevent violence on campus then I would say they are wrong.

  8. ken says:

    Here is the link. I invite any conservative to read it. You might want to educate yourself on this topic before you continue to make even greater fools of yourselves.

    http://www.oside.k12.ca.us/pdf/newsrelease/noonan_ltr_parents_eng_033106.pdf

  9. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    >

    Ken, I read the document from you link, for which I thank you. Mr. Noonan is a very fortunate man that my son doesn’t attend his school because, if he did, I would have made a point of making certain that my son wore his favorite T-shirt with a US flag on the front.

    Mr. Noonan prevents US students from expressing their patriotism in the name of “healing”!!! If anyone needs healing from this incident, I suggest they leave this country and go somewhere where someone actually gives a damn. And that also goes for Mr. Noonan.

  10. Herb says:

    Well, what more would one expect from such a left wing State as California. Why is it that all the Kooks live out there where being most anything contrary to the norms of human existence are standard for them. If you want a true left wing extremist view on anything, all you have to do is look at the left coast.

    It’s no wonder that they have the earthquakes, floods, landslides and is the home of most of the loony people in the world. They deserve each other and would be doing all the US a service if they just got of of the US, land, kooky people and all.

    If you don’t know what I am saying, look at Ken, he’s the prime example.

  11. jacob says:

    patrick said,I would have made a point of making certain that my son wore his favorite T-shirt with a US flag on the front. for this masterpiece I have had the glad rag printed on toilet paper in a show of support.

    wait pat isn’t doneI suggest they leave this country and go somewhere where someone actually gives a damn. And that also goes for Mr. Noonan. pat maybe you should be the one leaving. I have to say I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

    and let’s not leave herb out expect from such a left wing State as California. Why is it that all the Kooks live out there that’s us and I would have to agree who but Kooks could have ever given that senile old bastard reagan an entry into the national political arena.

    of course herb isn’t done either earthquakes, floods, landslides and is the home of most of the loony people in the world. They deserve each other and would be doing all the US a service if they just got of of the US I agree it would be a fine idea to secede probably take OR and WA with us. We’re the 5th or 6th largest GNP in world. What would you assholes do without our money, research, universities and let’s not forget all the bomb making crap out here. Maybe we’ll ship that back to you won’t do you any good since it is likely you’d have to hire terrorists to learn to use it anyway.

  12. anjin-san says:

    Sorry Herb, but us wackos out in Calif. are about 25% of America’s economy. Don’t think the folks back home with you in Pig’s Knuckle can make it without us.

    As for your comment about earthquakes and other disasters, the really pathetic thing about you Herb, is that you actually seem to enjoy seeing people suffer just because they disagree with your politics. What a mean spirited, small minded piece of crap you really are.

  13. LJD says:

    What happened to all of out unbending advocates of free speech? Oh, it only applies to bloody combat boots, coffins, and interrupting funerals and sessions of Congress.

    Freedom to endorse our country- naw, the flag represents ‘gang colors’! WTF?

  14. LJD says:

    I would add that any ‘student’ that feels assaulted by the image of our flag in the place where it provides their education, ought to be expelled.

  15. McGehee says:

    Don�t think the folks back home with you in Pig�s Knuckle can make it without us.

    Dare us to try. Please dare us to try.

  16. jacob says:

    Just a quick dip into the drivel.
    What do you expect from the American hating liberals …..An American flag flying over an American schoolyard is now considered a cause of divisiveness. How utterly pathetic.
    Well, if the left wing bums from the ACLU …….The ACLU are total communists. Whatever they oppose, patriots should support.
    For a school….. to ban the flying of our national flag is beyond the pale

    BTW, do you think christians love the flag above jesus? Newsflash the shroud of Turin was discovered to be concealing an image of the stars and stripes. Proof at last that we are a christian nation.

  17. Herb says:

    Jacob

    Anjin:
    You know what you can do with your money, economy and your loony thoughts? You can stick it , YOU KNOW WHERE.

    You people should decide to join the human race and it would also be well for to join the US, if you have the ability to forget your crazy, loony and extremists ways.

    Guys Like you are really something ales, You don’t like America, so why do you stay here. Perhaps you can join your Anti American Islamst friends and go live there.

  18. ken says:

    The comments by conservatives here are convincing proof that they cannot read. I gave you the link and either you could not read it or read it and did not understand it.

    Conservatives who want to take their political battle into the schools to the point of violence are total jerks. They are jerks anyway, but this is even more despicable than what we usually see.

  19. LJD says:

    …And Ken, you don’t hear so good. Maybe a smack in that thick skull of yours?

    So riddle me this asshat, in what way does the American flag, the symbol of our great and free country where all these Mexicans seem to want to be, represent a banner or placard?

    How is it offensive, controversial, or in any way inflammatory to students who are receiving a quality education because of the great country it represents?

    What is the problem here, the clothing the kids are wearing, or their behavior?

    Are we to expect that the symbol of our nation, and the freedoms of all people, be scarificed because of the BEHAVIOR of a few?

    So now even camoflage clothing is offensive! What next, no burritos in the lunch room? Get a grip, dude!

  20. LJD says:

    I almost forgot to quote your link:

    To prevent disruption of instruction or school operations, no students may bring or wear items that could be disruptive, including
    clothing, face paint, signs, placards, or flags, all of which were contributing factors to last weekâ??s disruptive behavior.

    Items that COULD be disruptive amount to just about anything, including the kid’s mouths. They’re so busy making rules they fail to realize it is THEIR JOB to ‘prevent disruptive behavior’. I would also say that giving the kids a free pass has ‘disrupted instruction and school operations’ already.

  21. floyd says:

    ask the people in northern california, oregon, and washington state whether they would be willing to leave the union with southern californians.i think not. how much of that californian economy is government contracts? how much of the rest of california’s economy relies on the other 49 states for support? california benefits from statehood at least as much as it contributes, cut-off from a 49 state “blood supply” california would surely wither and die! actually california is a beautiful place made unpalletable by bad state government, imagine if they tried to run a country!

  22. floyd says:

    according to “wikipedia” which everyone seems to love, california is about one eighth of U.S. population with about one eighth of GDP. what a powerhouse!!