"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.
They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended,” Dominic Maciel, Galli’s friend, said.
The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension.
MORGAN HILL (CBS 5) ― On Cinco de Mayo, five Morgan Hill high school students came to school in red, white and blue, and got a very public lesson in school politics and free speech.
The boys came to Live Oak High School on the Mexican holiday, wearing t-shirts, shorts and shoes emblazoned with American flags.
Around 10 a.m., the assistant principal told sophomore Matthew Dariano he had to remove his bandana, which is against school policy.
But then Dariano said the assistant principal told him and all his friends to take off their shirts, or turn them inside out, because some Hispanic students were upset and the school feared it would start a fight.
Dariano is part Mexican.
“Our Hispanic vice principal was taking their side, and was thinking that we were being racist towards them, so he was discriminating against us, making us take off our stuff,” Dariano said.
“We’re not trying to start trouble,” said student Austin Carvalho. “We’re in America. We can’t wear our own colors?”
The boys refused to take off the shirts. They were not suspended, but they were sent home.
Referring to his shirt, student Dominic Macielsaid, “I think it was disrespectful to my country, if I flip this inside out.” Maciel is also part Mexican.
The parents of the five boys said the school’s decision was un-American.
“You can’t just single out these five. It doesn’t work that way. That’s not what America is about,” said Julie Fagerstrom.
In the end, the children who went home from school to avoid suspension did not get suspended. But really? They were told to turn their shirts inside out and remove other articles of clothing ... that were emblazoned with the image of America's flag? What kind of crap is that?!? Isn't this America? What happened to free speech? And anyway, it's not like they were wearing pot leaf shirts, or carrying crack pipes! The American Flag, people! And I'm so mad ... These people who we are afraid to offend call themselves "Mexican Americans". But you tell me this. What American, of any kind, is not proud of this country whether it is Cinco de Mayo, Yom Kippur, or the Fourth of July? If you are truly American, you are proud of our flag and proud of what it represents, and you would NEVER find it offensive.Cinco de Mayo is popular at Live Oak, which is 40 percent Latino. The school even had ethnic dancers perform at lunch."
What happened to the America of days past, people who stood up for themselves as a country? What happened to the people who lived among each other in spite of the differences amongst the people? What happened to that? How is it better that our country is morphing into a place where we are forced to give up our own beliefs in order to avoid "offending" someone?
American vs. Politically Correct?
I am an AMERICAN. And I don't care what holiday it is, I don't care what nationality you are, I don't care where you come from or why you're here. I am not going to baby you, and if you came here to America to live here but can't be bothered to become an American and let go of the place you left ... then go back. It's that simple.