Are Americans becoming second class citizens in their own country? Are we going overboard in our quest to welcome all nationalities to our shores and make them “comfortable”? Do we have the right to celebrate our own country?
Recently the student council at Fort Collins High School wanted to celebrate America during their Spirit Week, but their request was turned down by the administration of the school with the excuse that they did not want to offend immigrants or people from other countries. The school principle reversed his decision and apologized just a day later in a letter to parents. You can see the entire letter here.
What caused the reversal? It was caused by Americans standing up for themselves. The first person to take action was Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County, Colorado. Early in the morning he stood shivering in the 12 degree weather waving an American flag because he wanted the high school students to know that they were not alone. The sheriff was joined by other patriots waving their flags. Drivers and students applauded them.
Why did Sheriff Smith take such drastic action? “It was important to send a message to students. They needed to know they are not alone and that they did the right thing by standing up. I hope when they and their parents saw their sheriff standing out in front of the school – they knew they weren’t alone.” He added, “This is a wake up call. We’ve been given the blessing of a wake up call as to what is going on (in our school). Now the question is – what do we do about it?”
This is not the first time that American students have been told they could not be patriotic at school. May 5 is Cinco de Mayo, an annual celebration of Mexican heritage and popular holiday in the southwestern states. This holiday celebrates a historical battle against French forces. On May 5, 2010, three students wore American flag shirts to school on a Mexican holiday. Administrators at Live Oak High School (located about twenty miles from San Jose in central California) told them to either cover their shirts or go home. This action was taken because of racial tension and shouting between students. Mexican students felt the Americans were disrespecting their holiday while Americans felt they had the right to celebrate their own country. The Americans challenged the decision, and a federal appeals court is now considering whether the administrators went too far in their efforts to control racial tension and gang activity.
American should not have to sacrifice their patriotism “on the altar of political correctness.” The students at Live Oak High School had the right to wear their patriotic shirts, and the students at Fort Collins High School have the right to celebrate America. We must stand up for our rights to show our love for our country or we will lose those rights. It is very interesting to me that both of these events happened at public high schools. What are our students being taught about America?