According to MercuryHills.com:
All the brouhaha stems from Wednesday, when four teens wore red, white and blue garb on Cinco de Mayo, a day when many Latino students wore red, white and green to honor the defeat of the French military in Mexico in 1862.
Reached by cell phone today, one of the boys, Matthew Dariano, 16, said he was not at school today fearing there might be violence on campus. Instead, he and his mother were at a hotel doing satellite interviews with Fox News. He insisted that despite reports that he and his friends said unkind words to Latino students, “We didn’t say anything at all. We just wore our shirts.”
The assistant principal had asked the boys to turn their shirts inside out or go home, saying the clothing was “incendiary” on the Mexican holiday, and that he feared for the safety of the students. The boys thought that was “disrespectful” and two went home; their mothers called the media.
The boys are Dariano; Dominic Maciel, 15; and Daniel Galli and Austin Carvalho, both 16. Two of the boys are of Mexican heritage and two are not.
Dariano said he and his friends have not received any disciplinary actions for their behavior, but they have not received any type of apology either.
Wesley Smith, superintendent for the Morgan Hill Unified School District, said in a statement Thursday that the incident was “extremely unfortunate” and the boys should not have been disciplined for wearing “patriotic” clothing.
Free speech experts agreed with the district, saying political speech is protected even on a school campus as long as there is no basis that it will cause violence or physical harm.
About 100 Latino students walked out of class Thursday and marched to Morgan Hill City Hall to protest the boys’ action.
When does it just become the better part of valor to wear a neutral shirt?
The NY Daily News reports the same story with a little stronger flavor added:
A handful of California students got an unexpected lesson at their high school this week: Don’t wear your stars and stripes on Cinco de Mayo.
Many members of Live Oak High School‘s large Mexican-American student population that felt it was offensive for the students to wear the American flag on a day that’s supposed to celebrate Mexican heritage.
When the boys refused to take off their flag t-shirts and bandannas, they were ordered to go to the principal’s office.
“They said we could wear it on any other day,” Live Oak student 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 alleged concern was that the T-shirts 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,” said Dominic Maciel.
The chastised teens’ parents were furious.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel’s mom, said. “All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They’re expressing their individuality.”
Morgan Hill Unified School District released a statement saying it does not agree with how Live Oak High School administrators handled this incident and that the boys would not be suspended.
Funny how 2 different reports seem to give a totally different version of an incident. I still want to know why kids are being allowed to wear bandanas. Gang attire alert.
This area is a suburb of Silicon Valley. It is not a barrio. It sounds to me like kids are being kids and schools are being schools. And some folks on both ‘sides’ know exactly which buttons to push. And the entire nation is at war over it.
Good for the kids who wore neutral white. It looks like maturity set in. No one wants their school to be an armed camp.
UPDATE: according to a video on Foxnews.com, the students say they were not suspended over the shirts. They chose to go home rather than change their shirts.