Fed. Appeals Court Upholds School’s Authority to Ban American Flag on Cinco De Mayo

Photo Credit: National Review By Charles C. W. Cooke.

How loopy has California become? This loopy:

Officials at a Northern California high school acted appropriately when they ordered students wearing American flag T-shirts to turn the garments inside out during the Mexican heritage celebration Cinco de Mayo, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

As a general rule, the eccentric and creative justices that populate the Ninth Circuit have an awful lot to answer for. But for once they may not be the villain of the piece. As the Washington Post’s Eugene Volokh has duly noted, there is precedent for such action, and that precedent holds that schools have special responsibilities to educate their students and to protect them both against violence and against disruption of their educations. A school might thus have the discretion to decide that it will prevent disruption even at the cost of letting thugs suppress speech.

“Discretion,” of course, is the operative word here. That the First Amendment has been repeatedly found not to apply in schools is disappointing for the plaintiffs and more than a little irritating for free-speech absolutists such as myself. But that a school has seen fit to force the question is infinitely worse. After all, the Ninth Circuit merely indicated what the state of California may do, and not what it should do — a critical distinction, and one that often gets lost in the noise.

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Banning the American Flag and Reconquista

By William Sullivan.

A federal court has ruled that an American school student has a right to free expression — unless that American might be threatened for that expression by others, in which case state officials have the right to quash the offending expression to appease potential aggressors.

Which, ipso facto, means Americans have no right to free expression at all. For if it’s not the government’s role to protect expression that is thought to be offensive by a vicious mob, what purpose does the First Amendment have? “Safe” expression needs no protection, after all.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled upon the constitutionality of a decision by the administration at Live Oak High School in 2010. On May 5th of that year, student Daniel Galli and his friends had the unmitigated gall to wear shirts emblazoned with that offensive symbol that we call the American flag. Fearing that the unruly ex-denizens of another country would be infuriated at the mere sight of it on a day they hold in reverence, the vice principal asked him and his friends to turn their shirts inside out.

May 5th, of course, is the holiday more commonly referred to as Cinco de Mayo. And apparently, Mexican-Americans would be prone to engage in a bit of the old ultra-violence if some haughty American had the audacity to brandish the American flag in America on a day in which Mexico won a victory in a battle against the French way back when.

Read more this story HERE.