Race

Increased Police Presence at California 'Flag Flap' School

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The police presence has been stepped up at the California school where students were sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. 

Morgan Hill police Sgt. Jerry Neumayer tells the Mercury News up to four officers are now patrolling the campus of Live Oak High School at any given time, instead of usual one. He said "three or four" more officers are working overtime, to be ready just in case there's trouble at school.

"We've heard rumors of possible protests or fights," he said. "The principal asked us to come."

This all started when the principal asked four students (first reported as five) to turn their flag shirts inside-out, fearing it could set off fights with Mexican students who were celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The students refused, saying it would be "disrespectful," so they were sent home.

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

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One of the boys, 16-year-old Matthew Dariano did not attend school Thursday, fearing there might be violence on campus. Instead, he and his mother were at a hotel doing satellite interviews with Fox News. "We didn't say anything at all," he claims, "We just wore our shirts."

The school district seems to be backing up the students. Wesley Smith, superintendent for the Morgan Hill Unified School District, said in a statement that the incident was "extremely unfortunate" and the boys should not have been disciplined for wearing "patriotic" clothing.

About 100 Latino students walked out of class Thursday and marched to Morgan Hill City Hall to protest the boys' action.

Two of the teenagers are actually of Mexican heritage.