Colorado School Reverses Ban On American Flag - ACLU Says Unfair

Discussion in 'Education' started by GotZoom, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. GotZoom

    GotZoom Senior Member

    Apr 20, 2005
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    Cordova, TN
    Exemplary Behavior...right. How about the threat of losing state funding and it basically being against Colorado Law. I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. the bottom of article:

    ACLU says Colorado law is unfair.

    Helloo!!??!! ACLU - What does the "A" stand for???????


    WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Students of Shaw Heights Middle School in Westminster will return to school Friday without a flag ban.

    Deb Haviland of Adams County School District 50 said late Thursday that the school lifted the ban because of "exemplary behavior of the students" in the past week. It was also lifted because of a statement made by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers warning the state's school districts can't bar students from reasonably displaying United States flags.

    Last week, Shaw Heights principal Myla Shepherd began disallowing students from displaying flags, overtly political clothing, camouflaged clothing, banners and bandanas there.

    She said she instituted the ban after several incidents, including one where approximately 25 students wore camouflaged clothing on one day.
    Click here to find out more!

    Several students at the school have been disciplined for wearing shirts that depict the American flag, an act that was in direct violation of the public school's recent ban on all flags, depictions of flags, or flag colors on student clothing.

    One student said he was suspended for wearing a DARE program shirt with a flag behind the logo. Another student, Katie Golgart, said she was suspended for wearing a Marine Corps shirt.

    Elizabeth Haas told reporters that she was told to turn her Marine Corps shirt inside out and when she did and then turned it back the right way, she was suspended. Haas, an 11-year-old sixth grader, said that she wears a USMC shirt every day to support her brother, who is in the Corps, and she wasn't aware of the ban until she was suspended.

    All of the students who were suspended said they had a connection to the military -- either they have a family member now serving or someone in the family had once served. They said despite the school ban, and even if it means another suspension, they will continue to wear their shirts.

    "I'm gonna going to school and wear another Marine shirt just to show that I support my brother and what he does," Haas said.

    The students' parents said they are willing to fight the schools' ban, before it was rescinded.

    "I did let her (the principal) know that I would fight her on this because I knew I was right. And that's exactly what it is. We are right to wear our flag. We are right for my daughter to wear her United States Marine Corps shirt to support the Marines -- future, present and past," said Eric Golgart, who is the son of a U.S. Marine.

    Schools such as Shaw Heights in Westminster, Colo., and Skyline High School in Longmont, Colo., had enacted bans on all flags -- American and Mexican -- as a way to diffuse the confrontations students have engaged in because of the recent immigration debate.

    School officials argued that it was a safety issue.

    Shaw Heights has 650 students, of which about 46 percent are white and 41 percent are Hispanic.

    Last week, students at Skyline walked out of class to protest the ban.

    "We're very angry. This is my country. They make me stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance every day ... but then when I want to wave a flag they won't let me?" Skyline student Colyn Norwood said.

    Skyline High School Principal Tom Stumpf said he enacted the flag ban after American flags were brazenly waved in the faces of Hispanic students, and in one case, a Mexican flag was thrown into the face of another student.

    "The (policy) evolved because the flags were being used, not as a symbol of cultural heritage, but the flags were being used as symbols of bigotry, a symbol of hostility. They were being used to inflame different groups and we're simply not going to tolerate that at Skyline High School," Stumpf said.

    The schools fly the American flag in the classrooms and other areas.

    Colorado Law Protects Display Of American Flag

    Because of this divisive issue, Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers requested that a copy of Colorado Revised Statute 27-2-108.5, concerning the proper and legal display of the flag of the United States, be sent to all Colorado superintendents.

    "The statute is clear," said Suthers. "No Colorado school has the authority to prohibit students from reasonably displaying the flag of the United States on their person or property. While schools can and should act to prevent conduct by students that interferes with the education process, their remedy must be narrowly tailored and cannot include a general ban on displaying the American flag."

    C.R.S. 27-2-108.5 reads, "The right to display reasonably the flag of the United States shall not be infringed with respect to the display: (a) On an individual's person; (b) Anywhere on an individual's personal or real property."

    "I understand that they're trying to deal with rising tensions and I appreciate that, but they're going to have to find a way to do it without banning, in particular, the American flag," Suthers told 7NEWS.

    Suthers even threatened to get a court injuction to stop school officials from enforcing the flag ban.

    The American Civil Liberties Union also sounded off on the issue.

    "The Colorado statute, however, applies only to American flags, which raises another constitutional issue. The Constitution prohibits what the case law calls 'viewpoint discrimination.' This means that the government cannot silence one side of a debate while allowing speakers who favor an opposing viewpoint. Thus, to the extent that personal display of American or Mexican flags now symbolizes opposing views on the current national debate about immigration issues, the Colorado statute cannot constitutionally protect the right of students to display the American flag while allowing a school to ban the display of a different flag," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

    On Wednesday, the state Senate voted to withhold state grant money from schools that break the flag law.

    "I think what the Senate did was simply blow a whistle, if you will, and say, 'Wait a minute, you're going too far.' My guess is that that will be enough," said Sen. Andy McElhany, (R) El Paso.
  2. Hobbit

    Hobbit Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2004
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    Near Atlanta, GA
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  3. dmp

    dmp Senior Member

    May 12, 2004
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    Enterprise, Alabama
    I wonder when Military Families will finally stop be discriminated against.

    I'd bet $$ that if the suspended students had ANOTHER tie, such as 'Race' we'd have seen riots.

    "Oh - just a bunch of kids who support our nation and our military? Sure! Let 'em have their rights trampled upon!"

    That principle is a waste of DNA.

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