Skip to comments.Carillo (High School) Walkout over rebel flags possible today
Posted on 01/18/2008 11:53:04 AM PST by Rebeleye
Some students want the school administration to ban the Confederate battle flag outright, even if its presence is mainly limited at this point to small decals, belt buckles or cell phone screens kept by a small number of students... Senior Megan Allen said she's gotten about 300 of the school's roughly 1,500 students and about 20 teachers to sign her petition calling for school officials to ban the flag on campus,
(Excerpt) Read more at 1.pressdemocrat.com ...
"It's not against the law to swear, to curse, but it's against school rules," said senior Ashley Bernon, who favors a ban.
Senior Megan Allen said she's gotten about 300 of the school's roughly 1,500 students and about 20 teachers to sign her petition calling for school officials to ban the flag on campus, saying tolerance for what many consider a symbol of slavery and oppression is a disgrace.
"The Confederate flag, as well as other symbols such as the Nazi swastika, could be considered pride in one's heritage . . . but their underlying theme is hate," the petition states. "Those who display them, know it . . . and those who see them, feel it."
School officials say the flag's presence -- as long as it doesn't cause a major disruption to school operations or incite a clear risk of unlawful acts -- is protected by the First Amendment, however unpopular it may be symbolically.
"Obviously, in a school of 1,500 students, you have students who have opinions on all sorts of things, as you would on any campus of that size," Maria Carrillo Principal Mark Klick said.
Some students have been stewing since last year over sightings of the rebel flag in the school parking lot or stuck to binders and backpacks around campus.
School administrators have confronted the issue once or twice in the past. But when a student newspaper story about the display of the stars and bars on campus last month included an account of an incident in which one of the school's few black students had a makeshift noose flung at his feet, a controversy suddenly bloomed.
The autumn noose incident, Klick said, appears to be completely unrelated to the small group of students who embrace the Confederate flag, though neither the student at whom it was aimed nor school administrators have been able to determine who was responsible.
The students with an interest in the Confederate symbol insist they aren't racist but proud of family links to the South, though just what the flag means to them, those interviewed couldn't say.
"It's our heritage," one such student said during a recent lunch break, explaining that he has at least one hanging in his room at home. "Everything's offensive to somebody."
"If they're thinking that we're going to form a Nazi group, they're wrong," said senior Zack Zanolini, dressed in a camouflage jacket with a .22-caliber bullet and cartridge around his neck. "It ain't like that."
Many students said the issue has been blown out of proportion by the campus newspaper and ensuing discussions, and that today's planned 10:20 a.m. walkout -- to the school softball diamond -- had little traction. The flags have been less obvious recently than they were earlier in the school year, they said, when several vehicles in the parking lots flew flags or otherwise bore the image.
One black student said he doesn't like the flag or what it stands for, and said he doesn't buy the "heritage" argument. But the student, sophomore Jeremy Thompson, said he has friends who like it, and he knows it doesn't mean they'd actually target someone.
"The flag only has as much meaning as you give it, so you have to see both sides," said Alexis Mijares, 15.
"I think they're taking it too far," she said of those supporting the walkout. "The more attention they give it, the bigger of an issue it is."
Renelle McCall, who wrote the Dec. 13 story about the flags in the Puma Prensa, said she was interviewing students for that story when she questioned a young black man who told her about having the noose thrown at his feet.
Reading it in the school newspaper was the first school administrators had heard of the incident, Klick said, though the freshman boy had told his mother and a school counselor perhaps a month earlier at a counseling session.
The student declined to be interviewed for this story.
Some students and teachers are sensitive to past campus incidents suggesting intolerance in a community of predominantly white students, with few minorities and just a handful of blacks.
"If we have a hostile environment for even one student, then we need to rethink the policy," said English instructor Brigette Mansell, who spent much of the week overseeing a series of student assemblies featuring speeches and presentations honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Mansell and Pam Devlin, one-time school principal and now an English and film study teacher, also noted the claim staked by white supremacist groups to the stars and bars. Both are among a group of signatories to a staff letter opposing its presence on campus, they said.
Klick, meanwhile, said he appreciated that the students at his school were confronting an important issue like adults.
"I think the dialogue is important," he said, "The ability to be passionate, without being emotional and personal, is where the education is."
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wonder what would happen if a similar movement tried to ban the Mexican flag? How far would it get?
About the Press Democrat Newspaper
The very first newspaper in Santa Rosa, the parent of todays Press Democrat, was begun in 1857, just three years after Santa Rosa was chosen as the seat of Sonoma County and seven years after California became a part of the United States.
Called the Sonoma Democrat this newspaper was a four-page weekly. Its name reflected the politics of the Santa Rosa and Russian River valleys, which were settled in the 1840s and 50s by farmers from Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The founding publisher was Alpheus Russell, a merchant with some newspaper experience who came to open a general store on Third Street. John Taylor, a prosperous rancher south of the new town, encouraged Russell to establish the paper, giving him a five-dollar gold piece for the first subscription.
At the end of a year, Russell sold the paper to printer E.R. Budd, who sold it again in 1860. The new owner was Thomas Thompson, a young Virginian who had edited Petalumas Sonoma County Journal five years earlier at the age of 17.
Thompson was a supporter of the Southern cause and conventional wisdom of the time said that Democratic party money, perhaps Confederate money, helped Thompson buy the paper to oppose the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Thompson and Samuel Cassiday, the Republican editor of the Petaluma paper, carried on a Civil War of words, in which Thompson was victorious.
Lincoln did not carry Sonoma County in either 1860 or 1864 elections.
You see, if they actually knew their American history (and they don’t), they’d realize that the American flag flew over slavery for many, many decades, while the Southern flag flew over slaves for maybe 3 or 4 years. So it’s a NON-issue!
But since they’re not being taught their history, what can we expect?
The racial arsonists in Boston wanted the Shamrocks taken off the Fire Trucks in Southie because they said the Irish image is like the Swastika. I must have missed the part of the Potato Famine where the Irish had the strength to enslave people a continent away.
So....they want everyone to pretend that the Civil War never existed? That was a battle flag and nothing more. Get over it.
The flag in question is actually the flag of the army of Northern Virginia flown by Robert E. Lee who freed the slaves at Arlington upon his inheritance.
Maybe we can get them all to walk out. Let’s try.
She gets 300 students out of 1500 to sign a petition? This used to be a democracy. Unfortunately, this country changed in the 1960’s and became a place of leftist minority rule.
This attempt to stifle free speech by HS students speaks to the utter stupidity of said fools and the schools that inculcate this kind of thinking. Don’t students read 1984 in HS anymore?
Yes, lets ban the Stars and Bars, right after the Mexican flag and the Rainbow flag.
If those particular students walk out how will it change the school?
Geez, not this again. Megan, honey, it's obvious you finally looked at a college application and realized you hadn't done anything to speak of during your high school years. Posting a piece of paper on the front door isn't going to prove you've got what it takes.
Wow! 300 of the 1,500 students signed the petition. Majority rules....the 300 loose. Sorry!
The school won't get it's funding for the day. And it'll get rid of the slackers for a couple hours so the rest of the students can learn.
No they don’t, and they do not take civic classes either, the very same students with slap a black arm band on to support “free speech” in their school newspapers. Liberal teachers are the reason for this crap.
Are they going to ban this one too?
Well, if they ban my heritage, then it’s a “hostile environment” for me. Screw ‘em.
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