Saturday, June 18, 2005

Stupid News from Florida

Not only do we have a governor going to the limit on the Schiavo case (see below), now we have a school board going over the top on patriotism.

Students in Hernando County who want to show their patriotic pride may be limited to the stars and stripes.

The School Board is considering a proposal that would forbid them from wearing apparel that displays any flag other than the American flag.

The proposed ban, which would be unique in the Tampa Bay region, was drafted by a district committee examining changes to the student code of conduct. In addition to barring students from wearing the Confederate flag, the proposal would keep them from wearing the flag of any other country, unless there is “a designated ethnic recognition activity held at the school.”

The scope of the flag ban could make it vulnerable to litigation. Becky Steele, director of the West Central Florida region of the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was “overly broad” and would create “serious first amendment problems.”

Barbara Renczkowski, president of the Hernando County council of PTAs and a member of the committee that proposed the change, said the ban had come up because officials wanted to head off students who might wear the Confederate flag to school. Members then decided to expand the ban rather than keep it narrow, Renczkowski said.

“It was an observation that it could possibly cause problems,” Renczkowski said. “They just felt it would be easier to ban them all (except the American flag) instead of just one.”

Has there been a rash of Confederate flag wearing going on in Hernando County? And is this the most newsworthy thing that the school board can come up with? Sheesh.

I know that Ricky at The Life of a Teenage Liberal is researching the impact of school uniforms on students and performance. I wonder what he thinks of this obvious assault on free speech.