Skip to comments.WSHS (Mn) teen cited for destroying U.S. flag; case could test free speech issues
Posted on 09/19/2008 7:29:48 AM PDT by MplsSteve
Police have issued a ticket this week to a 14-year-old Winona Senior High School student for desecrating a U.S. flag.
The teen, whose name is withheld because he is a juvenile, admitted he planned to desecrate it when he bought it and knew that was illegal, police said. The misdemeanor ticket carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Police say investigators spoke with the WSHS assistant principal at about 11:45 a.m. Sept. 5 after the principal found some red tattered cloth in the boys bathroom and suspected it was a part of a flag.
Police spoke with a boy who was seen leaving the bathroom around the time the cloth was found. The boy had a similar piece of cloth hanging from his pocket. The teen told officers a friend had torn up a flag and scattered pieces of it around the school before skipping class to go to the Rage Against the Machine concert Sept. 3 in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention.
Officers spoke with the suspect, who said he bought the flag, wrote song lyrics on it, tore it to pieces and burned it with cigarettes. He said he knew it was illegal but did it to excite his friends who were unable to attend the concert.
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Sounds like a future 0bama patriot.
Can’t attend the concert? Burn a flag!
I’m missing the connection here.
And obviously this young man is missing a few (synaptic) connections, also...
I forget the case, but the USSC long ago ruled this to be free political speech. He might get busted for WHERE he did it, but not what he did.
ZERO-tolerance should apply anyway ;-)
Being the day that today is, at first glance I thought you wrote “0bama pirate”.
Yes, there is no “free speech” in destroying someone else’s property, whether that flag belongs to a school or veteran (and yes the Left has used this “free speech” argument before in such cases).
It is INTIMIDATION and ARSON.
Send him to juvi.
By the way, more than one government school defender has said that they send their children to government indoctrination camps so their kids can learn to live in the “real world”.
So?....When was the last time someone burned an American flag at your place of employment? ( Just wondering.)
Clear case of HATE CRIME.
If he bought the flag he has a right to do anything he wants with it. He’s a dirtbag, but there is no law against that.
That said, I don't think he should be punished for burning his own flag. I don't like the idea of criminalizing conduct merely because it is "offensive." That's how we end up with stupid things like hate speech laws and bogus "human rights" commissions (like those that were used to harass Mark Steyn.)
If the authorities want to get him for making a mess in the bathroom or lighting a fire in an unauthorized spot, that's different. Just don't punish the kid (or anyone else for that matter) because you don't like his ideas or because he hurt your feelings.
no...that would be had he done it to a Mexican flag.
I liked all the comments here, but I have to agree with those who think he should not be punished for burning the flag. Cutting class, setting fires, etc., should be punishable.
I think those of us who respect the flag need to come up with some good response to flag burning. I’m inclined to put my hand over my heart as if I were at a funeral to indicate my sorrow and respect. I’d love to hear other suggestions. FReepers are a creative bunch and I’m sure someone can do better.
I think the effect we want in a response is to indicate deep respect for the flag, and a sort of shunning derision of the person burning it.
People who do this want a reaction and the reaction they want is to shock us or upset us. If the reaction they get instead is one that indicates that we think they are pathetic losers, they are less likely to try it.
I think this is the type of problem best handled not by a law, but by society or peer pressure.
So, fine his stupid 14 year old @ss $1,000.00 and put him in jail for 90 days. What’s the problem? Let him get his teeth kicked in learning life’s lessons the hard way.