COMMENTARY | The beauty of the U.S Constitution is that it protects our rights even when such rights, or the individuals enjoying the rights, are unpopular. The U.S. Constitution worries not about popularity, political correctness, or appeasement. What is right is what is right, regardless of race, color, or creed. But a recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threatens to erode that notion: According to CBS, the federal court has declared that a northern California high school was justified in ordering students wearing shirts featuring the American flag to turn those shirts inside out during Cinco de Mayo to avoid angering Hispanic students.
The court has erred. American students should not be ordered to appease others to avoid the threat of violence. Hispanic students ready to engage in violence over sight of a shirt bearing the American flag on Cinco de Mayo should have been dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Violence must not be appeased. Those who wish to use violence must be taught that those actions are inappropriate and will result in punishment.
The U.S. Constitution should not bow to those who shriek, gibber, and howl the loudest.
Instead of ordering students to turn their shirts inside out, the school should have requested additional administrative and police presence on Cinco de Mayo. The rights of students should not have been sacrificed until all possible alternative were exhausted. Violence has been tacitly encouraged by allowing the school to take the easy way out and sacrifice the rights of some students to avoid violence by other students. Angry hotheads now know that the school will appease them to avoid confrontation.
As a teacher I will not stand for students bullying others. I will not encourage those being victimized to yield in order to appease the bully.
Any student wishing to engage in fisticuffs with a classmate over the wearing an appropriate and wholesome shirt he (or she) will have to deal with me. I guarantee that the offender will wish they had thought twice before throwing punches. Giving in to those who threaten violence only encourages them to try their luck again in the future. The federal court has therefore encouraged more violence from Hispanic youths against classmates wearing U.S. flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo.