Morgan Hill and the First Amendment

I served as a principal of public schools for nearly 20 years, so it is with tremendous empathy toward the administrators at Morgan Hill’s Live Oak High School that I write this week’s post. I also have empathy for the students on both sides of the political maelstrom.

One of the reasons I earned the respect from the preponderance of my former students was my unwavering respect for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I most often tried to bring students with disparate viewpoints together in the same room at the same time, beginning with the student leaders of the various sides. I also relied on my student government elected leaders to be involved to help facilitate the dialogue. If student government elections are done well, then students trust their student leaders. Student government leaders can bring remarkable clarity to contentious issues quickly.

The First Amendment along with the entire Bill of Rights was adopted nearly 220 years ago to ensure certain guarantees for civil liberties of every American. The U.S. Constitution is the ultimate source of law in this country and it must be used to be the guiding document behind controversial decisions in schools.

It might be instructive here to cite the text of the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

No matter how we cut it race issues are just beneath the surface of our work in schools. Too often the issues that manifest themselves on Cinco de Mayo celebrations have not been adequately discussed in classes, debates or in seminars. I fear our curriculum has been narrowed since the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. History/Social Science classes have dwindled in importance. This is a very sad commentary of schools today and I think we must reinvigorate the teaching of history, government, civics, psychology, sociology, and economics in all high schools. We should have school summits about immigration, Bill of Rights, gang affiliation, law-related education and the like.

As a principal, sometimes I got split-second decisions right and sometimes I got them wrong. I hope the record demonstrates that my “batting average” on upholding the U.S. Constitution was close to perfect. Safety for all was the primary consideration when confronting contentious issues or “incendiary” words/behavior from students, parents or faculty. Being a principal or school administrator in today’s increasingly polarized world is difficult to say the least, however, if administrators hold the Constitutional precepts sacrosanct we all would be better off.

Scott Herhold, columnist for the SJ Mercury News said it best in his column on Saturday, “It was still a mistake for an assistant principal to ask them to turn T-shirts inside out or go home. It was a mistake not to let them wear the flag…I don’t say that because I’m a flag-waving patriot. I loathe the simple dictums of the tea party movement. I hate the Arizona law that allows cops to demand papers on the street…But as a professional rabble-rouser, I believe in free speech, even offensive speech. And I don’t think an American flag T-shirt meets the standard for squelching.”

I hope Live Oak High School administration will use this opportunity even as the school year winds down to bring student leaders on all sides of the issue together with the most respected members of the faculty and staff to create a 1 year plan to ameliorate the issues that surfaced last Wednesday. At some point involve the community’s leaders, PTA, police, and legal community to the table for the development of a comprehensive plan going forward.

Joseph Di Salvo is a member of the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Board of Trustees. He is a San Jose native. His columns reflect his personal opinion.

51 Comments

  1. As it stands right now, the best way to deal with this situation is for the MHUSD to request the immediate resignations of both the principal and the involved vice-principal of Live Oak High School.  Their actions in this matter demonstrated (ultimately to a nationwide audience) that they are more beholden to the loudest voices in the room rather than to either the rule of law, or to common sense.

  2. Joe:

    May I suggest that you re-read your recent remarks on bullying:

    Bullying: A Violent Pandemic
    http://staging.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/04_06_10_bullying_a_violent_pandemic/

    Then slap yourself on the forehead and tell yourself:

    Teachable Moment was right.  I was right.  It’s not about The First Amendment, it’s about Bullying.

    Scott Herhold is just a shallow clod who cherishes the First Amendment as his God-given right to say stupid things. Thousands of innocent trees undoubtedly gave their lives so that Herhold’s inconsequential drivel could be recorded on their mutilated hides.

    Ignore Herhold.  He’s a doofuss.

    The issue at Morgan Hill’s Live Oak High School is that patriot American students were subjected to verbal and administrative attacks by bullies who sought to impose their chauvinistic cultural and political values—the values of foreign country and a dysfunctional alien society—onto the social and cultural fabric of an American —that’s AMERICAN—school and its community.

    And then the administrators of the school sided with the bullies and further demeaned, intimidated, and harrassed the students who asserted the patriotism that the pathetic Herhold so despises.

    The situation at Live Oak School is likely irrecoverable.  All that the educrat establishment can do is use the force of law to compel the ethnicity-less patriotic American students to offer up their bodies to occupy seats in classrooms dominated by sullen, insolent, students of the politically assertive ethnicity.  The school district will get its ADA money. But no education will occur.

    The first order of business is accountability.  Identify who is responsible for the bullying, and for administratively aiding and abetting of the bullying, and hold them accountable. 

    To hold them accountable means imposing SERIOUS consequences.  FIRINGS. LOSS OF TENURE.  FINES. EXPULSIONS. INDICTMENTS and CHARGES.  And even hard time.  Remember, these were SCHOOL CHILDREN in the custody of “professional educators” who are charged with their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Allowing, tolerating, and CONTRIBUTING to the OFFICIAL bullying that occurred at Live Oak School MUST be dealt with SEVERELY.

    Then, provide for the students in a respectful manner.  Close down the Morgan Hill school district, and offer the parents of every student in the district tuition vouchers to attend the private or charter school of their choice.  Parents, of course, should be required to provide proof of citizenship of LEGAL residency in the U.S. in order to receive the vouchers.

    Enough already.  No more speeches.  No more summits. No more educrat “comprehensive plans going forward”.

    The people in charge have failed miserbly and failed for decades.  It’s time for them to go.

    • Wow – am I reading the Onion? “Close down the Morgan Hill school district” – now THAT’S a constructive solution.

    • Bullying involves a desire to hurt + hurtful action + a power imbalance + (typically) repetition + an unjust use of power + evident enjoyment by the aggressor and a sense of being oppressed on the part of the victim.

    • “And then the administrators of the school sided with the bullies and further demeaned, intimidated, and harrassed the students who asserted the patriotism that the pathetic Herhold so despises.”

      That COULDN’T be because the Vice-Principal who sent AMERICAN kids home for wearing a AMERICAN flag t-shirts in an AMERICAN school, but who didn’t send the Hispanic kids home who were provoking a fight,  is named Rodriguez, could it?  NAH! 

      Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the USA than in Mexico, just as St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated more in the USA than in Ireland.  They are both just excuses to go out and get drunk.

      If the Mexican kids think so highly of their heritage, let them go to Mexico and see what kind of education they’d get there, and see what happens if they get out of line.  Ain’t no First Amendment in Mexico, kids.

      People aren’t sneaking INTO Mexico by the millions, are they?

  3. Joseph,

    Thank you for your thoughtful article. I couldn’t agree with you more. I must say though that I think this incident has a much larger lesson to be learned. Over the past three decades, I have watched our leaders, the media, and our society demand that we Americans embrace other cultures over our own, or we are called racists. We can’t say Merry Christmas because that offends non-Christians. Fire Fighters were told to remove the American flag from their trucks during 911 because it might “offend” other cultures. The list of demands of what is considered “political correctness” grows yearly, and quite frankly it is outrageous to me personally. To be told that my allegiance to my own culture and heritage is something I must express in a way others find acceptable is a violation of my Civil and Human Rights.

    My Father served in 3 wars, during Hitler’s reign, my Mother and my two half sisters immigrated here LEGALLY from Germany. It was my Mother’s love for this country and my Father’s service that has given me such pride and love for this country. The Little Saigon protestors wore both the American flag and the Vietnamese flag and displayed an immense love of this country because we took them in and protected them from the communists.

    Why then should we be made to abandon this beautiful country in favor of political correctness decided by some group who never even invited us to the meeting they held on what is considered “correct?” No, this issue has more to do with people feeling fed up with the way our heritage is being squashed and because our immigration laws aren’t being properly enforced. This message is a vital one and needs to be heard loud and clear by our leaders.

    In conclusion let me say this, knowing full well I will be branded a racist by some fellow blogger, if we entered any other country illegally we would be jailed and treated like the criminals we would be. We would not see their government help employers exploit us for cheap labor, and then blame their economic decline on us for soaking up their resources.  Our leaders have sold this country out for profit and I for one am sick of it.

    Yes, we need to embrace, educate ourselves on other cultures, and continue to provide a safe haven to those immigrants in need, but NOT at the expense of the heritage of this great country called America.

    • > Joseph,

      > Thank you for your thoughtful article. I couldn’t agree with you more.

      Kathleen:

      Based on what you actually wrote and what Joe actually has written in his many postings, I don’t believe that Joe really agrees with much of anything you said.

      • Teachable Moment,
        I think you and I see things very differently. Joseph is correct in saying the “real” issue/issues of what brought on this incident are being ignored. As a mediator of 27 years, I can agree with him 100%.

        In my profession we say, “It is never the barking dog that is the problem.” The barking dog is a scapegoat for a more serious underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Until it is, the poor dog doing what comes naturally to him or her will always be the one that gets the blame. No solution will ever come out of the problem until people start working together to discuss the “real” issue and then move on to finding a happy medium.

        • > Teachable Moment,
          I think you and I see things very differently. Joseph is correct in saying the “real” issue/issues of what brought on this incident are being ignored. As a mediator of 27 years, I can agree with him 100%.

          Kathleen:

          I stand corrected.  You apparently, but inexplicably, do agree with Joe.

          I will also observe, in response to your claims of expertise as a mediator, that I don’t see much mediation between Joe’s views and my own.

        • Oh come on Teachable Moment, you know very well I never said that I agreed with every single thing Joseph says. Conceding to well made points doesn’t mean I, “inexplicably, agree with Joe,” on every point! Geech!!

      • Dramatic Flag Waving,
        Thank you for proving my point better than I could.
        By the way, she did a beautiful job on that song!!!

  4. One point I want to make. When flags are displayed outside of government buildings, Fire stations, and police stations; whenever the military color guard walks our nation’s flag out during ceremonies to say the pledge of alliegance, it is tradition that our nation’s flag is ALWAYS on the left, and all other flags – whether it is a state flag, or another countries flag – comes after.  This is symbolic to me – we accept all other countries, their cultures, their heritage, their beliefs, but the American flag, the American culture, American beliefs come first.  That was a tradition started by our founding forefathers, and it is one we should continue today.

  5. Wearing a US flag as an item of clothing is specified in the Flag Code as an act of desecration just like burning the flag.

    176(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. (U.S. Flag Code)

    While I agree in principle that people have the free speech right to burn the flag, high school is not a place that has absolute free speech. I would support the school in banning the burning of the U.S. flag on school grounds, and any other act of flag desecration too.

    It is unfortunate that the previous president was several times photographed violating

    176 (g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature. (U.S. Flag Code)

    however, this poor example should not serve as an excuse for further flag desecration in the public schools.

    • > Wearing a US flag as an item of clothing is specified in the Flag Code as an act of desecration just like burning the flag.

      Good point, 10 Mhz.  You used that big brain of yours to penetrate right through to the core issue.

      The Mexico-centric students were behaving perfectly legally and appropriately because neither the U.S. Flag Code nor the Mexican Flag code prohibits the wearing of the Mexican Flag as an item of apparel.

      Who, other than you, knew this!

      American society is richer and more harmonious thanks to people like you because of your relentless vigilance in ensuring that flag etiquette is scrupulously observed.

      The adminstrators at Live Oak High School who noted this flag desecration and took steps to preserve the dignity of Old Glory should likewise be commended for their quick and decisive action, as well as for their sensitivity and astuteness in recognizing that the wearing of the Mexican flag as apparel was, in fact, culturally appropriate.

      With people like you on the case, I’m sure that American flag wearing yahoos will eventually get the message that violations of U.S. Flag Code 176(d) will NEVER be allowed to slide by.

    • 10 MHz Days,

      Thank you for your excellent post. Your comments further my point on just how bad things have become, and how uneducated we are in the ways we should honor the tradition, show respect for our flag and the nation it represents. 

      I am deeply saddened that these same leaders you speak of feel it appropriate to “cancel” celebrating the 4th of July, and Christmas as if it were just another unimportant, meaningless day of the week. No wonder our country is going to hell in a hand basket. The very people we elect to lead this country aren’t teaching by example. Our own children don’t have respect for, or understand the history of this great nation, or the immense scarifies made by men and women in the military. What a slap in the face to our forefathers, and those who died serving this country, and to those serving this country now.

  6. Let’s take a deep breath and consider, for a moment, what really happened last Wednesday at Live Oak High School: While one group of students held a school-sanctioned Cinco de Mayo event, another group of students stood by wearing American flag tee shirts.
      That’s all.
      There were no fights or riots. In fact, the school now admits there were not even angry words or catcalls back and forth between the two groups, just two groups of students peacefully and lawfully expressing their respective points of view. (Oh, the horror!)
        Then the adults got involved, and things went downhill fast.
        An Assistant Principal came along, saw the shirts and imagined “incendiary” incidents were about to happen. Then the Principal got involved, telling the students to either wear their flag tee shirts inside out, or go home. Parents got mad and called the local newspaper, the Morgan Hill Times.
        After the Times published a story online the story went viral. News vans showed up at Live Oak, 10 in all, parked in front of the school. (“We’re LIVE in front of the school where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING’S HAPPENING, but if it does we’ll be here to show it to you…!”)
        8-10 police were called in to patrol the halls, just in case something happened. (It didn’t.)
        News helicopters hovered overhead. (Why? If you’ve seen one school roof, you’ve seen them all!)
        The blogoshpere exploded from the left and right (you too, Joe), national news organizations went ballistic, and the Tea Party rolled into Morgan Hill to hold a rally for the all too accommodating news cameras. (I wonder, were any of these folks from Morgan Hill?)
        Everyone, it seems, had quite a lot to say. Yet the voices of the students seemed to get lost in all the sound and fury.
        Here’s a story you probably didn’t see on the news: On Friday the students self-organized a unity rally on the campus. Hundreds showed up. Instead of the colors of the US or Mexico, they wore purple and white. Hispanic kids stood with white kids, and all agreed that the news coverage had been overblown and painted an inaccurate picture of the supposed racial tensions at their school. Somehow that story didn’t make it onto Fox, the New York Times or even into the local Mercury News. 
        The Who said it best: “The Kids Are Alright.” These kids showed the rest of us that they were perfectly capable of having a discussion about racial issues, and to have it on their own terms. Why was the school, and so many other adults, afraid to let them have that discussion?
        The administrators, reporters, Tea Partiers, and the rest CREATED a controversy where none had existed. In the process they caused a disruption to these student’s education and used the school, and it’s students, as a backdrop to push their various political agendas. That stinks. 
        It’s ironic. Had the Assistant Principal butted out in the first place and let the students wear their shirts none of the controversy would have taken place.
        Sometimes the student becomes the teacher. This is one of those times.
        My hat is off to the students of Live Oak High School. They seem like great kids. The adults, however, should be sentenced to after-school detention until they learn how to get along!

    • Reader,
      Of all the viewpoints I’ve heard or read on this issue, I like yours the best. We could learn alot from youth and animals when it comes to acceptance…

      • This YouTube video is an example of America at its worse. We can and must do much better. 

        Yes, racial tensions are just under the surface in most schools, however common experiences increase understanding and tolerance. High quality secondary schools engage all students in political discussions on historical and current issues that impact their lives: AZ New immigration law, civil rights, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights etc. An 800 API is good, but not as good as a school that promotes tolerance, understanding, and equity for ALL.

        Live Oak High and MHUSD should get a representative group of student leaders, parents, elected leaders, school officials, alumni, and CBO leaders together with a great facilitator and develop a plan to increase the peace for the remainder of this year and into the future. Anything short of this is preposterous!

        Joseph Di Salvo

        • > Live Oak High and MHUSD should get a representative group of student leaders, parents, elected leaders, school officials, alumni, and CBO leaders together with a great facilitator and develop a plan to increase the peace for the remainder of this year and into the future.

          Just pathetic.

          We don’t know what to do, so LET’S HAVE A MEETING!!!

          This is the classic management ploy for sweeping a festering, insoluble problem under the rug: let all the emotional doofusses vent for 20 minutes, scrawl some inscrutable words and diagrams on flip charts with colorful marker pens; and then have a great big group hug.

          Five minutes after the group hug, no one will have a fricking clue what the plan was, and no one will have any intention whatsoever of changing THEIR attitudes or THEIR behavior.

          This is a TEXT BOOK EXAMPLE that those in charge are completely clueless.

          If this is the best that the geniuses at the County Office of Education can come up with, IT’S HOPELESS.

          Student safety must be the first priority of any school. It is obvious that Morgan Hill’s schools are NOT safe for many students.

          If the County Office of Education DOESN’T REALIZE that the schools are not safe, that’s negligent incompetence.

          If the County Office of Education DOES REALIZE that the schools are not safe, and literally tries to paper over the problems with color pens and flip charts, THATS CRIMINAL MALFEASANCE.

          The Public Education establishment has only one answer: do what the Education Code says and “cover your ass”.

          It is a cosmic certainty that NO EFFECTIVE ANSWERS will be found in the Education Code.

          Disband the Morgan Hill School District, give vouchers to all the legally resident students to attend private schools, or organize charter schools, and ban public school administrators from having any contact with students, parents, or tax dollars.

        • The students, especially the males, must accept their role to stop being vocal about their country and status.  DiSalvo would be a great facilitator allowing the flag shirted students to recognize that subordinate to other cultures.  White Man’s Burden!

        • Joseph,
          I am deeply saddened by this video. I find the behavior of ALL these students to be heartbreaking and frightening. The hatred, and anger displayed by them is overwhelming to me. It reminds me of growing up in the south as a youth. I watched black youths beating up whites, whites beating up blacks, and both beating up by-racial children.

          I never thought this kind of hatred would still exist today. We as adults have really failed our youth in more ways than one. Generational racism, and hatred seems to be alive and well.

          I honestly am horrified by the lack of respect for our American flag shown by all these youths. Our educational system should be ashamed for not teaching these youth the sacrifices that have been made, and that are being made by our military, and Civil Rights Leaders to afford them the freedoms they so arrogantly and ignorantly enjoy.

      • This video is just heartbreaking to me. It literally brought tears to my eyes. What horrible things are we adults teaching our youth? Generational hatred, and racism is beyond unacceptable.

        • > School systems are producing La Raza/Mecha radicals on the taxpayer dime.  Sweet!

          > Di Salvo?  Your thoughts?

          Nice try, Novice.  But don’t get your hopes up about getting any kind of answer.

          I think Joe is still mulling the concerns of one of his bright ed students regarding the “problem” of “white culture/values” in the schools.

          La Raza/Mecha might actually be the good guys because they are addressing the “problem” of “white culture/values”.

        • Hint:
          My answer is contained in paragraph 5 of my original post. we need to have a robust U.S. history, civics, and government curriculum for all students. This should take place in a heterogeneously grouped class and taught in AP style with very high expectations for all students. The readings should be from a rich collection of literary works presenting all points of view. Electives that delve deeper into a particular point of view could happen for those interested before and after school.

          Joseph Di Salvo

        • “What horrible things are adults teaching our youth?”

          Meh.

          What horrible things are our school systems teaching our youth?  Better.

          “One of the textbooks that TUSD [Tuscon Unified School District] uses in its ethnic studies program is Chicano!, by F. Arturo Rosales.  The book teaches the history of racism and oppression in the United States directed against the Mexican, Mexican-American, and Hispanic populations.  As the name implies, a large portion of the textbook is devoted to the Chicano movement that sprang up to fight social injustice and to push for civil rights.  There are some similarities between the Chicano movement tactics that the book documents and the tactics some TUSD students have practicing recently.

          The cover of the book features graphic art of protesters with their fists in the air.  Pages 248, 249 and 253 feature photographs of Chicano movement members with raised fists.  The photograph on page 253 shows a student with a raised fist sitting in a classroom with other students; the text on that page makes the point that Chicano studies programs in the Southwest are “the most visible vestige” of the Chicano movement.  A review of KGUN9 News footage over the past week shows many TUSD students raising their fists in the same fashion as those shown in the textbook.

          And then there is the brown beret issue.  Pages 193 and 199 of the textbook show pictures of demonstrators wearing brown berets.  The book acknowledges a link to Che Guevara as an inspiration for the berets.  Interestingly, the textbook does not explain who Guevara was.  Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary leader and a major figure in the Cuba’s communist revolution, revered by some as an inspiration to the downtrodden, but reviled by others as a ruthless killer who bragged about personally shooting defectors.”

          http://www.kgun9.com/global/story.asp?s=12477521

          School systems are producing La Raza/Mecha radicals on the taxpayer dime.  Sweet!

          Di Salvo?  Your thoughts?

        • > Don’t you gents have an AmRen convention to attend?

          No thank you.  I have enough AmWay products.

          Does the forum administrator know that you are hawking that stuff here?

          > You’re clogging of this forum with redundant material under a dozen aliases lacks creativity and dulls down the topic.

          My lack of creativity and dullness are lingering effects of public school education.

          I’m doing the best I can.  I’m a victim.

        • Joe:

          Is every student in Oak High and MHUSD safe?

          Safe from bullying?

          Safe from gangs?

          Safe from preemptive or retaliatory discipline by school or district administrators?

        • > Hint:
          My answer is contained in paragraph 5 of my original post.

          > we need to have a robust U.S. history, civics, and government curriculum for all students. This should take place in a heterogeneously grouped class and taught in AP style with very high expectations for all students. The readings should be from a rich collection of literary works presenting all points of view. Electives that delve deeper into a particular point of view could happen for those interested before and after school.

          Joe:

          I’m just a mere rocket scientist, not a degreed or credentialed professional educator.

          But journalists and educators who profess expertise in sociological and cultural matters suggest to me that “Hispanic” members of the heterogeneously grouped class might view the embracing of the activities you have specified as “acting white” and therefore, problematic.

          Correspondingly, the “white” members of the heterogeneously grouped class who embrace the activities you have specified would surely validate the “acting white” stereotype held by the “Hispanic” members.

          It is not clear to me how your approach addresses the “problem” of “white culture/values”.

  7. I guess the lesson learned is to let the antagonists face the consequences of their provocations. The principal prioritized safety over jingoism, opting to diffuse a potential altercation before it started, like a responsible adult. Sorry, but isn’t that part of the job? It’s sad that other adults are using this event to reignite tensions that were sparked by a few brash kids. Grow up. The US flag is still flying out in front of the school, I’m sure.

    • Was the US flag flying outside the school on Cinco de Mayo?  Or was it just the flags that were worn by white kids that were seen as “incendiary”?

      • For as long as I went to school, there was always a US flag flying. Has that changed? Feel free to correct me if it has.

      • > Or was it just the flags that were worn by white kids that were seen as “incendiary”?

        Joe:

        Just so we keep close to the facts, neither The Mercury News nor columnist Scott Herhold has reported that the students wearing the patrioticly themed apparel were “white” kids.

        As far as we are able to discern from establishment media news reports, the students were devoid of ethnicity.

        I’m sure that the Mercury News would not like validate the stereotype that patriotism is somehow a trait specific to “white” students.

    • I guess Nammy is the only person who finds waving the American Flag to be an act of intolerance.  For the record, at my school, I encouraged the students to wave the Mexican Flag and flags of other republics when we had a session on President’s Day.  The freedoms of American independence spurt the other revolutions, ask Simon Bolivar or Francisco Miranda (who fought in the American Revolution).  Ps, Lincoln and Seward did work to get the French out of Mexico, Nammy.  But he thinks Americans are always the Great Satan.

      • Are you drunk? All I did was point out that the principal acted to prevent an altercation, which is what someone in that position should do. Your ramblings on politics are irrelevant to my statement and to the responsibilities of the school faculty.

        • Nam’s rule

          If you support the American flag in class,that’s a paddlin’

          If you whistle the National Anthem, that’s a paddlin’

          If you want to pray, that’s a paddlin’

  8. If history were taught in California schools today, all of the students would have known that President Lincoln objected strenuously to the French invasion of Mexico, but was obliged to pay attention to events closer to home.  That is, the USA was on the side of the Mexican patriots at the events of May 5, 1862, and shortly after the US Civil War, President Johnson provided massive war material and support to the Mexican patriots, enabling them to oust the French invaders.  Nothing could be more fitting than the showing of the US flag in conjunction with the anniversary of May 5th.  Learn some history, all y’all.

  9. Due to the doctrine of in loco parentis, its clear the First Amendment does not have quite the same saliency on a high school campus, as it does within society at-large.  Never-the-less, it is hugely inappropriate for public schools in the USA to embrace a holiday (one that is obscure and effectively unobserved in Mexico) that is clearly being employed as a sort of Trojan Horse for “brown pride” racialism & extra-territorial Mexican nationalism, and then to compound that error, by telling those students who disagree with that misguided policy that on May 5th, they are barred from wearing a shirt that they would otherwise be permitted to wear all year round.

    A shirt is either in violation of the school’s permanent dress code, or it is not.  And I’m pretty damn sure the Live Oak High School administration doesn’t want to ban American flag t-shirts all year long.  That might not be good for their job security prospects.

  10. Here’s a recap:
    – Arizona Ethnic Studies classes promote Chicano radicalism and hold up Marxists as role models.
    – University of Minnesota “advocates making race, class and gender politics the “overarching framework” for all teaching courses at the University.”
    – We know from Di Salvo’s students that they’re very concerned about “white culture and values”
    – I know firsthand that entrance exams into SJ State’s teaching credentials program require completion of essays like “Have you ever been discriminated against and how did that affect you?”.

    We know Cali education doesn’t suck because of overcrowded classrooms – smaller classroom sizes have made zero impact.

    We know Cali education doesn’t suck because our teachers aren’t paid.  Cali teachers average 68,000 per year.  2nd highest in the country.

    We know Cali education doesn’t suck for lack of funding.  40% of Cali’s state budget is dedicated by law to education. 

    So given the above it’s clear why Cali education sucks. 

    It’s because of the Di Salvo’s and their priorities which are in order:
    1.  Taking care of the teacher’s union.
    2.  Taking care of those that take care of the teacher’s union. 
    3.  Diversity.
    4.  Political correctness.
    5.  Self esteem.

    Kids and actual teaching?  They come in dead last.

    Thank you Joe Di Salvo and all that you’ve done to keep us ahead of Mississippi.  (We are still ahead of Mississippi aren’t we?)

    PS.  One has to read the University of Minnesota teaching manifesto to fully appreciate the lunacy.
    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/70662162.html
    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cehd/teri/Race, Class, Culture, and Gender.doc

  11. Santa Clara County as a whole achieved a median score higher than 800 for the first time this year. Its median score of 806 and San Mateo County’s 809 placed both among the top 15 percent of counties statewide.

    “Our schools continue to improve their testing results, year after year,” Santa Clara County Superintendent Charles Weis said in a statement. “One hears the phrase, ‘Our schools are broken’ too often these days. Well, as these scores show, our schools are far from broken. They continue to function and improve under very difficult circumstances.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15083599

  12. Given the caliber of people that live here (it is “Silicon Valleyafter all) the API scores should be through the roof.

    *Everyone* you talk to is trying to navigate the patchwork of marginal public schools – API or no API.
    – “My elementary school is ok, but the middle school is sketchy and the high school you can forget about.”
    – People *sell their house* and relocate prior to their kids entering middle school.
    – Private school or home school?

    This is the 24×7 conversation for the people that live here – in uber affluent, hyper-talented Silicon Valley. 

    It is absolutely mind boggling that in Silicon Valley – that parents here are so challenged to get their kids a decent education.

    But when you consider the plethora of Di Salvos we have running California’s educational system and you see that their focus is on anything but math, science, english – it all makes sense.