duminică, 13 februarie 2011

Dissent is Patriotic; Hating America is Not

A middle school in Colorado has crossed the line. Citing conflict over the immigration debate, Shaw Heights Middle School in Adams County, Colorado, has banned all wearing of patriotic attire.

Myla Shepherd, the principal, said that tensions over the immigration issue were apparent when more than 20 students came to school wearing camouflage jackets and pants, apparently to show what they call their patriotism and American pride.
I want to know how patriotic attire and American pride can cause conflict over immigration policies! I will save my immigration views for another post, but in my opinion, the wearing of patriotic attire to school is irrelevant to the immigration issue. To issue of war, on the other hand, it is very relevant.

One school even had the audacity to ban all flags.

In Longmont, the principal of Skyline High School banned all flags, including the American flag, because of tensions related to immigration reform.
If you ban the number one symbol that represents the United States of America—the American Flag, you ban everything America stands for.

I am known for matching. Yes, matching—my clothes, my purse, my shoes, my jewelry, my make-up. Everything always matches. It’s a pet peeve of mine. In spite of that, I wore a camouflage Support Our Troops wrist band every day until it broke. After that, I wore a silver bracelet with a yellow ribbon threaded through it, with an American flag charm and a yellow ribbon charm. I wore it every day until it broke. I haven’t replaced either of them, but people noticed and were amused that I wore them no matter what. It was a silent statement that people noticed. Even though it was mostly to laugh about that "There's only one thing that can make Holly not match," people understood that there was a very deep reason and meaning behind a simple bracelet.

Every Friday, I try to wear red. Several weeks ago, when we went home to Louisiana, about 15 of my family members were eating at one of our favorite seafood restaurants on a Friday night. All of us on one end of the table were a sea of red. People noticed and people asked why. (For those who are not familiar with Red Friday, see my post here.) On Red Fridays, it is a silent statement of “I support our troops and I care.” It touches my heart to know that people care and no doubt, it boosts the morale of our troops. I challenge you to wear red this Friday and every Friday!

To ban patriotic attire anywhere is against freedom of speech and freedom of expression. It would be different if these schools have uniforms, but they don’t. They simply banned the wearing of patriotic attire. This is wrong and should not be tolerated! To write to this school, the address is as follows:

Shaw Heights Middle School
Adams County School District 50
8780 Circle Dr.
Westminster, CO 80030

Here is a link to the story, along with a video. It is notable that the school says it is because of the immigration issue that patriotic attire has been banned, but the student interviewed in the video never once mentions immigration. She mentions supporting our troops, our military, and our country, and pride in being American. I agree with her words: “If we’re an American, I think we should be proud to be an American.”