Government School Daze

Sport fan opening his shirt and showing the american flag

We see the horror unfold every day. Across the Nation, government-run schools have become war zones. Despite establishing “gun-free zones” from San Francisco to Sandy Hook and back, the bureaucrats have failed to provide adequate protection for our children in a world beset by people who care as much about “gun-free zones” and anti-gun laws as they do for the lives of their victims.

Thank the Savior for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, it upheld a lower court’s ruling that schools have a vested interest in ensuring the safest environment possible and can move to quash danger by forbidding students from hyping that internationally despised symbol of intolerance and hate: the American flag. Specifically, the court ruled that the Morgan Hill Unified School District of Morgan Hill, Calif., did not “violate the students’ right to due process,” and it rejected that part of the students’ claim. It also rejected the students’ equal protection claim “[b]ecause the record demonstrates that the students’ shirts ‘might reasonably have led school authorities to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities.’”

Barring students from displaying the American flag out of fear that it might make the Mexican kids go loco? ¡Ay, caramba! As if that judicial tomfoolery weren’t funny enough, Cinco de Mayo isn’t actually Mexican Independence Day. It’s not even a national holiday in Mexico, where Independence Day occurs on Sept. 16. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that American kids can’t wear the American flag in American schools paid for by the American people on American soil, lest they offend the Mexicans who came to America voluntarily during their own celebration of the wrong holiday. The fact that the previous sentence is true isn’t half as terrifying as the fact that some of the top jurists in the Nation think it makes perfect sense.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Cinco de Mayo. For the whole month of May, the grocery store discounts six-packs of Mexican beer; and the pizza joint down the way offers this delicious taco pizza thing. Also, I can shoot The Great Eight in a sombrero while referring to it as “El Ocho Magnifico.” If Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo want to mark May 5 as a day to get together before study hall and reminisce about the good old days back in San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida, they’re welcome to it. I’ll even give them an “¡Olé!” for effort.

But whether Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo ventured here legally or illegally, they came to the United States because they believed it represented an opportunity for a better life than the one they left behind. Yet the flag of their adopted Nation — the shining beacon of liberty that drew them out of the darkness of low pay, institutionalized corruption and undrinkable tap water — so enrages them that they want to give the Alamo treatment to the next kid they see wearing it on a T-shirt. Hey, let’s bring in 30 million or 40 million more people like that. They seem so grateful. What they don’t seem to have is a sense of direction. In this country, they’re allowed to say “¡Viva México!” And I’m allowed to respond “U.S.A.” without their losing their chalupas over it.

Moreover, the decision is actually kind of racist. In barring the image of the American flag, the school — and subsequently the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — implies that Mexicans lack the capacity to control themselves. The same liberals who think we should grant immediate citizenship to Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo have a pretty dim view of all three of them.

Although they don’t fall to the level of pretty much anything President Barack Obama does when he’s awake, these sorts of court-authored infringements on simple personal expression represent the exact kind of incrementalism by which the left plans to extinguish freedom. While the President batters the walls of liberty by hurling the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and his army of low-information accomplices like stones from a trebuchet, his collaborators crawl through the justice system like sappers, digging under her foundation. Meanwhile, government-school indoctrinators simultaneously teach our children to not only abhor their own heritage, but to fear the heritage of others. I feel safer already.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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