Elissa Harrington FOX40 News
November 12, 2010
13-year-old Cody Alicea rides with an American flag on the back of his bike. He says he does this to be patriotic and to honor veterans, like his own grandfather, Robert. He's had the flag on his bike for two months but Monday, was told to take it down.
A school official at Denair Middle School told Cody some students had been complaining about the flag and it was no longer allowed on school property.
"In this country we're supposed to be free," said Cody. "And I should be able to wave my flag wherever I want to. And they're telling me I can't." Cody had to take the flag off his bike and put it in his backpack, where he kept it all week.
Cody's grandfather says the school was concerned about racial tensions or uprisings because of the flag. He feels if there was really a problem it should have been brought up two months ago, not during Veterans week. And if it was an issue of safety, parents should have been contacted.
"No action should be taken. We don't want any repercussion," said Roger Alicea. "We just want Cody to be proud of what he's doing." Roger says the family is not planning to take any legal action, but they do want to meet with school staff.
Cody says he wants to serve in the military some day, and is raising money for a trip to Washington, D.C. in the Spring.
OK....let's hit a few key points. The school says students were complaining about the flag. Excuse me, but this is America and if you choose to live in this country, you can expect to see the American flag! You should be seeing it in your classrooms every single day, you should be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to it every day and most importantly, you should be respectful of it every day. Do you honestly believe that if you were in some other country, their flag would be removed because some nutcase didn't like looking at it?
Next, the school was afraid the flag might cause racial tensions or uprisings? Are you kidding me? What does race have to do with the American flag? We welcome people from all races, creeds and religions in America. Read our Constitution....it says that all men are created equal. The American flag does not stand for any one race, creed or color, it stands for the United States of America, our country, our home. The flag represents each and every one of us that lives in this country. The American flag is not judgmental, it doesn't turn its back on any American. I could understand the school's concern if the young man was flying a gang flag or a Nazi flag or some other symbol of hatred and intolerance, but for crying out loud, he was flying the American flag in America!
Why didn't the school contact the boy's parents if this was such a major issue? Why did they choose the week we honor Veterans to make this ridiculous decision? Most importantly, why is the person that made this decision still employed by the school? I said it before and I'll say it again, this is the United States of America. Being respectful of our flag is never illegal or contemptible. It is high time that Americans start acting the part. If you want to enjoy this nation and our freedoms, the start living up to your end of the bargain.