National flags ignite firestorm at Atascadero Junior High School

May 7, 2011

By KAREN VELIE

A disturbance erupted in the Atascadero Junior High School cafeteria on Thursday when several Caucasian students began waving American flags at students who were waving Mexican flags in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, said Kim Spinks, Atascadero Unified School District’s director of human resources.

During lunchtime, four Hispanic students were proudly displaying one large and several small Mexican flags.

Several parents and students said the mother of a Caucasian student asked her son to pass out small American flags to classmates. The boy gave the flags to a handful of his friends who began waving them at the Hispanic students, said a student who asked not to be named out of fear of retaliation.

Battling back, an Hispanic student told the Caucasian students to stop waving “those flags.”

Shouting across the cafeteria, one of the Caucasian students countered, “We can if we want, it is our country.”

Concerned the situation was getting out of control, Lori Thomas Hicks, the principal at Atascadero Junior High School, called Spinks to ask if she could commandeer the flags from the students. Spinks agreed that if the American and Mexican flags were causing a disruption they should be seized.

“Mrs. Thomas Hicks then took the flags away from the students, returning them at the end of the day,” Spinks added. “There were no suspensions, no riot and no police involvement.”

Even though their flags had been commandeered, the former flag wavers began screaming, cursing and advancing on one another, the student said. The end of lunch bell helped diffuse the situation.

However, a student who was not involved in the altercation said racial tensions are still running high at the school and another flag was taken from a student on Friday.

When initially asked about the incident, the person who answered the phone at the school said that the principal was gone for the day and “nothing occurred anyway.” However, district officials confirmed the racial disturbance that is reminiscent of the Gilroy incident that captured national attention last year.

Cinco de Mayo is the observance of Mexico’s victory over superior French forces in the battle of 1862 and is not a national holiday in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo celebrations were popularized in the United States as a symbol that Hispanic Americans can overcome this country’s white power structure.







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DQ

I guess everyone, except caucasions who were raised American, have a right to insult the American way of life. Those hispanics knew their waving of the Mexican flag in US territory was insulting and provocative! It was tantamount to inciting.

Stunned

No offense meant by this but, Chicano kids (Mexican-Americans) have been waving their flags in our faces since the beginning of time. I just wonder how many people I’ve offended by my irish flag bumper sticker….grieve with me! :)

The redneck mom has no clue the damage she’s causing……take that from a REAL redneck. Don’t throw Jr High kids under that bus….fight your fights and let them discover what’s worth fighting for when they reach adulthood woman.

moderator

Please focus more of your comment on the topic being discussed and not so much focus on other members of the site or other topics , ‘if you have questions please use the email link. thank you.

seniorcit

Something just struck me as I read part of this story. The part about the mother of one of the caucasion students passing out flags to classmates. During lunch time? Was she there? Did she have flags for her son to give out to his classmates? Also, the part about the Hispanic students “proudly” waving their flags. How did the writer of this article know they were “proudly” waving them? Don’t get me wrong, i’m on board with most of the investigative articles that Karen writes, but that part kind of strikes me wrong.

seniorcit

Sorry, I meant the Mother of one of the caucasion students asking her son to pass out American flags.

danika

I had to share this link with those of you interested in what our children are learning in Ethnic Study classes. Take the time to scroll down and read the handouts given to students in Tucson, Az. I find this disturbing on multiple levels…

http://www.tu4sd.com/p/faqs-ethnic-studies_16.html

Typoqueen

Gosh, I don’t know why but after looking at your link I felt like shaving my head, putting on combat boots, raising my fist and yelling ‘WHITE POWER’!

Nice link danika.

whatisup

Typoqueen – You also need to come into the year 2011 and quit living in memory. From the dawn of human history until the end of WWII standard operating procedure was that land was conquered and if you couldn’t defend your land it became somebody else’s. Since WWII and the dawn of the United Nations era this practice has diminished. You and your friends who go on and on about the Europeans throwing the natives off their land, but you are trying to apply today’s morality on people who knew no other way than what they did hundreds of years ago. The fact that many of you whities feel guilty about it goes to your own warped sense of guilt as though you are the ones that did it.

Get over it and move on with your lives because nothing is going to change, you will die and the next generations will not care. My Grandfather was born in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy which previously had been the Austrian Empire, which previously had been the Holy Roman Empire, etc., etc.

Undoubtedly, many of the Native American tribes had thrown other Native American tribes off their land in the thousands of years before the Europeans showed up. We just happen to live in that sliver of historical time when the world became connected due to electricity, steamships and airplanes and the practice of conquering a land to permanently occupy it has become taboo. For you and your friends to feel guilty because you happen to be white and it happens the whites did most of the successful conquering in the few hundred years before the new era of the United Nations is plain silly because it was pure luck how things turned out. If electricity had been discovered during the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars heyday you might be wearing a burqa today.

Typoqueen

You sound a bit confused but thanks for the history lesson,,,I guess. Try and stay focused here, we’re talking about school kids. Perhaps you’re confused because danika’s link was about school curriculum in AZ and it does somewhat relate to our history while talking about ethnic studies. Kinda funny how you went on about histiory things like how I could be wearing a burqa but your first line is something about me needing to live in 2011.

I don’t feel guilty for happened to 1000 years ago or even 60 years ago. I don’t feel guilty for anything relating to racism as I didn’t do anything wrong so I’m not really sure where you’re coming from withs lesson about how conquering the weaker is the white mans way. Yes, we all know that. Some of you don’t wish to evolve and some us do. Some want change and some like the old way of doing things. By the way, not all civilizations lived to conquer others and take their land. Native Americans were here for thousands and thousands of years. They had their own territories and for the most part (with a few exceptions) they were content with that. Their way of living lasted longer than most.

What I feel is bad for are the teens at the school that is on topic right now. I feel bad that the white kids missed out on would could have been a valuable lesson and that the Hispanic kids were bullied buy some white redneck mother. Although I feel bad for those kids I have no guilt, I wasn’t responsible for her actions.

My response to danika wasn’t out of guilt. My response to danika was out of dismay that she would use what basically appears to a white supremacist type of website as a reference. Of course you and danika won’t see it that way. The site is polished up, but it’s basically a wolf in sheep’s clothing

willie

There is something screwy about a parent (ANY PARENT) who would use or place her child and other children in a position of mischievous with potential danger by supplying paraphernalia with suggestion to incite and inflame a group. The bitch is loony.

Typoqueen

That’s really what this all amounts to willie. One stupid nasty mother.

whatisup

Before jumping to conclusions the story needs to be complete. Did the Mexican kids have permission to display the Mexican flags duing lunch time or did they just decide to do it.

Regardless, pasoparent5’s point that if the rolls were reversed what would you be saying about American kids attending a Mexican school and how would the Mexican School district officials and Mexican parents and Citizens react to the American Kids demanding the Mexican Kids put their Mexican flags away while the American Kids were waving the American Flag in the Mexican classroom?

Typoqueen

“how would the Mexican School district officials and Mexican parents and Citizens react to the American Kids demanding the Mexican Kids put their Mexican flags away while the American Kids were waving the American Flag in the Mexican classroom?”

I really must not be good at explaining this as this keeps coming up. But I’ll try again.

How do you think a cop in Mexico would handle things if he stops you in Mexico. Do you thing that thier cops would handle things differently than our cops? I know they would. A cop in Mexico would take all your cash and perhaps your jewelry and if he likes you he’d tell you to go home after that, if not then you might get the crap beat out of you as well. Do you honestly think it’s fair to compare how they handle things as opposed to how we handle things, is that what you want to be? If Mexican cops beat their citizens should we? If one of our cops beat a Hispanic would you say ‘that’s okay that’s how they would handle this in Mexico’. Of course they handle things different than we do and I personally don’t want to deal with things as they do. It is my belief that this country should take the high road. This mother that basicly some of you are defending should be made an example of how not to react and the kids and the mother should be taught about tolerance. They are jr. high kids, they don’t even understand what they are doing but don’t encourage hate, make it a lesson and don’t teach them how we should handle things has Mexico would handle them. We don’t need to be teaching our kids that there isn’t any room for diversity.

whatisup

You have jumped to a conclusion that the Mexican Pride kids had permission to display the Mexican Flag and this was an official function. The story doesn’t say this. The story is very incomplete, but you have jumped to the conclusion that supports your preconceived idea of what happened. Perhaps the story could be clarified.

In the meantime, if the story was an American kid is in a Mexican school and waves an American flag on the Forth of July and then some Mexican kids start waving the Mexican flag and the American kid tells the Mexican kids to quit waving the Mexican flag what is your reaction to this scenario?

hotdog

The kids don’t need permission to breathe, or perhaps wave some flags. Doesn’t have to be an official function with white adults supervising. Jeez, let the kids do something on their own.
The story might not be as complete as a book, what do you want for a one page article? If American kids did this in Mexico I would support them, but the conditions are all different . This country has almost run the world since WW2 and people from other countries would certainly like to exercise a little bit of independence and national pride every now and then. Shall we take that away from them too (we have taken their lands and exploited their natural resources, helped to assassinate elected leaders, imposed harsh economic conditions and so on. This is all common knowledge so you red flaggers are all wet).

whatisup

Hotdog – These kids were born around 2000. To them WWII is the same as the Civil War or Spanish American War is to you. You are living this from the past. You need to come into 2011.

Typoqueen

whatisup, I believe that you missed the dogs point.

Typoqueen

@rally, perhaps I should re-think my horrible attitude regarding not wanting our cops to be like theirs. You’re right, much less bureaucracy :) I want to be like Mexico, take those bloody Mexican Flags from those Hispanic kids and we should flog them while we’re at it.

lilshi2

so now i have too ask you ? which parent are we talking about here ? the parent who supplied the mexican flags ? or the mother who supplied the american flags ?
how do you even know what went on that day ? where you there ?
so i say too you and typoqueen… please get your facts straight… unless you were there.. you have not the right too post your bullshi? crap responses… come on really… how fair are you being ?
never ceases too amaze me how the most uniformed can be so self righteous… sad…

and that stupid nasty mother… is actually a caring mother… yes i know FIRST HAND… do you ?
and the white boy as he is being called… lol is half mexican…. ahhh did any of you people who posted know that…. clearly not… and saying it was a act too incite… give me a break…

so i am most proud of my daughter and grandson…. period… we are Americans…. we speak english… as last time i checked.. it was and is the only language of this country… as set forth.. over 200 yrs ago… and please let me add this last…. we are all mutts… simple…

Typoqueen

I didn’t call any of the kids racists. Since you know so much about this, did one of the Mexican flag carrying kids mother give them the flags. Why didn’t the white mother hand out US flags? As I said earlier, from this article it appears that the mother was instigating problems. If this article is accurate then she could have used this as a learning moment rather than trying to start fights. If I’m wrong or if this article is wrong, rather than cursing and telling me my rights tell us what you know and what really happened.

seniorcit

Did somebody accuse you of calling the kids racist? Or this just another projection?

Typoqueen

“the white boy as he is being called… lol is half mexican”

@ seniorcit, I might be wrong but that post from lilshi2
looked as if it were addressed to me.

Typoqueen

seniorcit, I’ll take that racist remark back, perhaps I spoke out of turn. Not feeling well today so perhaps I’m a bit overly defensive.

lilshi2

to set your mind as ease.. i am not like the others here who posted crap they did not know anything about… no where did i say you were a racist… but yes some of my comments were directed at * you * before you post something get your facts straight.. or don’t say anything… my motto if you don’t see it or hear it from the horses mouth… you then assume (ass-u-me) so please just get your facts straight, then come here and make your comments.. really is that so unfair to ask you or any other person here who posted ? and the white boy comment from me.. was directed at several here.. please re-read what i wrote… funny how we seem to only read what we want too read and then take from it…nothing close too the truth….

and to the commentator… were you there ? i know for fact you weren’t….
so even some of your comments.. are untrue… and your a writer.. ? get your facts straight…… as you have no clue.. as to why my daughter took my grandson those flags that day… but i do !!! and can assure you straight from the horses mouth.. my grandson… and may i add he is yes part mexican/white/native indian… but all this is not the issue… it’s his right to wave his countries flag… ANYWHERE in the USA he wants…. as he is an American… and proud of it… i think this horse is dead.. and we should ALL.. let it lie… we need too learn compassion for all… or as a people we are on a long lonely lost road….
and too typoqueen… sorry your not feeling well.. and do wish you get too feeling better… i may not agree with you, or like what you said.. but in my heart never would i wish you ill will…. :)

mkaney

I want to make a final comment about why I see a lot of the viewpoints here as racist. Whose fault is it that Mexicans come across the border illegally and have children here to receive benefits? If you were a Mexican, what would YOU do? It is OUR fault that we provide these benefits. If you want to reduce illegal immigration, remove some of the incentives for coming here, and find ways to create partnerships with Mexico that will increase the quality of life there. You can’t really blame people who are uneducated and poor for seeking a better life, no matter what it takes, even if it means illegally crossing an artificial line drawn across a map. If they were your parents, you would appreciate the risks they took so that you could have a better future. Maybe they should endeavour to assimilate more, but I really think people do the best they can with what they have and what they understand.

If we eliminated social programs like welfare at the federal and state level, and brought this money back into the community… we would have more control over who it was dished out to because it we could create programs that served our communities, and temporarily helped people people who may have fallen on hard times, rather than having one-size fits all programs. But if we continue to prop up the welfare state, we will continue to have people come here to take advantage of these benefits. I see putting them blame on them, instead of ourselves, as racist.

mkaney

Why racist? Because when we talk about Europeans coming to this country, albeit mostly legally, we don’t focus on the fact that many of them received public assistance, we focus on their effort to make a better life for themselves.

r0y

My guess is, and speaking for myself, that people do NOT automatically inject racism into the argument when it involves Europeans, but they will when it is Mexicans (or any non-white, assuming all Europeans are white?).

That, in and of itself, is offensive to me (and I’m betting a couple others). Sometimes you refer to this flag-waving thing as “Nationalism” – but often we’re all arguing about “Racism” – it is absurd, and it offends people who really are not racists and do not naturally think in those terms (like it appears others do).

mkaney, you and I are very close (identical) on most fiscal, libertarian views; we’re just not connecting here. hotdog and typo are lost causes, and most of us can guess how they will respond to most issues (like open books) – which is fine, and I appreciate their honesty and integrity in sticking to their guns and ideology, no matter how much I disagree with them on many things.

I am such a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. that I am ashamed I have to bring his name into this thread, but really we should judge people on the content of their character, and not on the color of their skin. For me, this also means not calling “racism” as soon as a non-white is involved. Believe it or not, a Caucasian and a Latino can have a disagreement or even a fight and not have race enter into it! That’s not to say racism does not exist, but please, assume that it might not exist at least as much as assuming it does. Give people a chance to prove the content of their characters before you judge them on the color of their skin (i.e. guilty whites, illegal Mexicans, etc.).

Cindy

Well said r0y and Thank You, you have far more patience than I do for people who pull the race card and name call.

hotdog

Well, being a ‘lost cause’, though ‘honest and full of integrity’-just where are Typo and I ‘lost causes’? Because some here refuse to consider alternative opinions? This isn’t just a place to spew the verbal slop that many do; it should at least ALSO be a place of learning as well.

You say you are a fan of Dr. King. So am I. I don’t like racism, or nationalism. I don’t like selfish and foolish people (tea party folks). Typo and I often cut through all the senseless meanderings of chat on this site and ‘tell it like it is’. Just why are we ‘lost causes’?

Like I said earlier, to my great regret I never made it to Nixon’s ‘enemies’ list (he must have run out of ink before my name came up)- are you a type of person that takes offense at that? If so I am a lost cause to you-and proud of it.

I’ll bet if we met and had a long chat/debate we would agree on a majority of current issues (cheating, lying and other nasty human endeavors) that degrade our nation- and others internationally. If you approve of the lying and cheating (mostly by big corporations and politicians, less by little people like us) then yes, I am a ‘lost cause’ to you. If you think we should give big tax breaks to fat cats while throwing seniors and our youth under the bus (like the tea baggies want) then yes, I am a ‘lost cause’ to you.

Well, you get the drift.

pasoparent5

Yes, the US shares the blame w/Mexico. They export their least educated, least skilled workers and we take ’em in and often (but not always) exploit them w/low wages and poor working conditions. We have an open border policy and the Mexican government knows it. Why feed and educate the bottom of your society if the Estados Unidos will do it for you–for free! That’s why the US needs to close the border asap and enact some sort of guest worker program so we can weed out the drug dealers and gang bangers while welcoming legal, seasonal tax-paying workers into our labor force.

However, your comment that many legal European immigrants received public assistance is not accurate. Church groups, businesses and private citizens had to sponsor potential immigrants. All those millions of Scots, Irish, German, Swedish and other European folks who came here through Ellis Island and other ports of entry had to have proper identification, a medical screening, and–maybe most importantly–proof that they could take care of themselves and their families. The government welfare programs of today simply did not exist 100-150 years ago.

Cindy

You are so correct pasoparent5, but never mind Ellis Island or 50 years ago. I had a German friend who entered the US in the early 80’s from South Africa when all the problems with Rhodesia were occurring.
Not only did he have to prove that he wasn’t a criminal and had a sponsor but his sponsor (an uncle) had to disclose every asset and debt that he owned or owed. No one was allowed into this country until they could prove that they had the means to support themselves and stay off the public dole. Talking to some of these extremist bleeding heart liberals is like talking to a wall because they know it all, just ask them!

mkaney

When I said public assistance I was speaking of assistance in all forms. Note that I suggested that we should dismantle the government welfare programs of today and return that money to the community (individual) level to remove the incentive for everyone to come here, and allow communities to choose who they wish to help out. As far as them coming legally… don’t you think that had a lot to do with the fact that they had to come by ship? I’m sure that if all those countries bordered us, we would have had a lot of illegal immigration then too.

seniorcit

Jeez, this is unbelievable. Do you not think that many of us want to reduce the welfare level? Do you not realize that it is the politicians that continue and advance this welfare level to increase their voting block? To put the “R” word to it only furthers the liberal agenda. Please quit using that term.

Paperboys

Try to keep in mind that these are junior high aged kids. In general, they have raging hormones and are aggressive in just about everything they do.
They are becoming young men and women, at least their bodies are, but they lack maturity or insight and thus are likely to get into a lot of fights over really stupid things or to be mean spirited to people who are different.
They would be as likely to choose up sides and fight over the Lakers vs. the Celtics, or the Dodgers vs. the Giants, as the Mexican flag vs. the American flag.
IMO the school did the right thing, It took away ALL the flags and put an instant end to the source of the conflict. Now tomorrow or the next day the kids will find something else to fight over or to fight about. I doubt very much that a Jr High kid really gives a hoot about patriotism or Viva la Raza! sentiments, let alone truly understands the concepts.
As for the woman who brought the U.S. flags to school, she is the one who should be rebuked here for stirring this up into a potentially volatile situation. She should be ashamed of what she helped stir up.

Ghost Walker

This is typical of this site. The same people on here condem everyone who disagrees with ther enlightened progressive veiwpoints. Call it racisit all you want but last time i checked Mexican is a a nationality. Again and again its the same line of we need to be excepting of everyone else but if our opinion of an incident dosnet mesh with your “enlightened way of thinking”, God kows you will tell us ad nausem. Pretty darn excepting of you really. Can you honestly blame people for not wanting their culture to be subsumed by the ideals and culture of a forigen nation? Give it a few more years when Slo starts having the Soreno problem like in Santa Maria and further south (where its much worse). Its easy to spout your Kumbaya attitude when you live here. You dont have to deal with the realities of the situation. Americans of all colors are tired of rolling over for all the “we are unique and special groups, race, nationalits etc. I know that again I will here about how this is racist, redneck, bigoted. Try nationalist or non progressive conformist. If people want to celebrate their heritage great. Just dont go around acting like its better than my american heritage and expect me and people like me to meekly stand by and agree with you.

Cindy

LOL, We definitely have a few people here who have a need to “foist” their opinions. The more they get voted down the louder they yell. It doesn’t matter, just ignore them. I stopped bothering to read their obsessive posting , nonsense, foolish analogies and rhetoric yesterday morning.

I read an article at ihatethemedia.com yesterday about Obama taking down the US flag at Ground Zero prior to a photo shoot because he didn’t want to incite the Muslims. That’s one of the reasons that I don’t like Obama. Our “foisters” should be pleased that I didn’t let everybody over at that site know about this story and the crap we are putting up with in this blog. The butt kicking they are taking now is nothing compared to what some folks could have gave them.

Typoqueen

LOL yeah okay Cindy, you stopped reading these posts. But you took a chance that Ghost’s post agreed with your right wing nonesense so you read his/hers. Too funny. It’s also amusing that any thinking adult would care about some silly votes on website. LOL I won’t be able to sleep tonight knowing that I might get 30 thumbs down on a silly website. This is rich, and actually on this site I take that as a compliment. But I am glad that the votes on Cal Coast News make you feel warm and fuzzy .

Don’t believe everything you read. You don’t need to read nonesense like that to hate Obama, you would hate him anyway.

I’m very disappointed in you. I often disagree with you and always understood that your position and debating skills on issues were weak (to put it mildly) but I had no idea how closed minded you were.

mkaney

Cindy, I have definitely been obsessively posting here because I have been totally disturbed at the nationalistic fervor. But I don’t appreciate you trying to be condescending about that, especially when you are one of the most frequent posters on all the news sites in town. That’s hypocricy of the highest order and a total cheap shot.

ososkid

I know I know you would love America even more if it wasnt for that damn melting pot

Typoqueen

OMG some of you people are just so incredibly ridiculous. This thread is little microcosm of the country and demonstrates why Obama is so hated by the same people in this thread that are wrapping themselves up in the flag with indignation and hatred towards the Hispanics in this country.

These kids aren’t saying that they hate this country, they weren’t attacking you. They were doing what people of different heritages have always done in this country for 200 years and what they have a right to do. Just like the curfew issue you are making mountains out of molehills. You sound paranoid and silly. That new curfew that 4 out of 5 cities have had for probably 50+ years is all of a sudden taking away your rights, these Hispanic kids should leave the country, it’s just incredibly paranoid and stupid. My gosh you really just don’t get it. It’s really sad that we as a country haven’t gotten further than this. We are still stuck with this racist nonesense. It’s depressing and sad to know that some of you are passing this hate down to your kids. Please whatever you do, don’t go to Little Italy in NY or China Town, you will all be so offended,,they also fly flags of their heritage and they don’t all fly US flags with them. Perhaps we need to bomb those parts of NY.

mkaney

God FORBID if Obama dressed in traditional Kenyan garb occasionally. Can you imagine the backlash? (Don’t get me wrong, I dislike Obama as much as I disliked Bush, but not for reasons of race)

Typoqueen

Not trying to start an argument but why do you dislike Obama as much as Bush? Just curious.

On you are absolutely right about the Kenyan garb.

mkaney

Probably the biggest reason is the continued bailing out of the banking and auto industries. But I am also adamantly anti-war and I really don’t like the fact that he has continued the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has since added Yemen and Libya. I’m not a fan of the health care plan and feel that it was a gift to the insurance industry. And despite what he said about not pursuing enforcement of marijuana laws in medical marijuana states, the feds have continued that effort. I think he has simply continued all the make-believe and lying that has become so characteristic of our federal government.

Personally I feel that the federal government has become too large and unwieldy. The Democrats and Republicans are both part of the same power structure and they use their supposed differences to game American citizens. I would like to see the majority of power and spending first returned to the state level, and ultimately to the community level.

Typoqueen

@mkaney, well I don’t agree that he’s as bad as Bush, my dog would be better than Bush. But I do agree completely with all of your points in your first paragraph and a bit with the second. But I’m off topic so I won’t go on about it.

standup

You assume that everyone is so racist. The problem is many, many of these kids were either once illegal themselves or have parents that were illegal. That’s my problem. The school system is overburdened with the hispanic population boom. Do you think that the legal population all of a sudden just started having mass babies? No, the influx of them running from Mexico to the good life in the US just to stick their middle finger at us doesn’t sit right. For those that came here legally, I have absolutely zero problem with as all of us but native Americans came here. If there heritage is so important to them, why don’t they return to it?

willie

Does anyone learn or preach “The Golden Rule” anymore.
Or is that just for low class folks?

whatisup

You are absolutely right willie. Do on to others as you expect others to do on to you. As pasoparent5 pointed out, reverse the rolls and make this about American kids attending a Mexican school and how would the Mexican School district officials and Mexican parents and Citizens react to the American Kids demanding the Mexican Kids put their Mexican flags away while the American Kids were waving the American Flag in the Mexican classroom.