Friday, December 17, 2010

The Bizarro Code In Action

Those who share my nerdy affinity for comic books should be familiar with the Bizarro World, whose laws, logic and residents are inverted versions of our own. I used to believe that the Bizarro only existed in DC Comics, but after reading about an incident at the Denair Middle School, I am convinced that an increasing nbizarro individuals and institutions exist among us. On Veteran's Day, 13 year old Cody Alicea was asked to remove the American Flag that he flew from his bicycle. The school superintendent, Edward Parraz issued this order because "certain students were complaining" and because he was afraid that the flag was causing "racial tensions."

The principle clearly should have taken the moral high ground and defended the student's right to free speech, but apparrently the bizarro code dictates that educators support intolerant bullies in their efforts to silence others. And in the bizarro world, we must take down American flags during Veteran's Day. It would be interesting to see if the principle would have responded similarily to complaints against a student's display of (let's say) a Mexican or Morrocan flag, or if he would he have (done the right think and) rebucked them for their intolerance? I suspect he would have done the latter, because the bizarro code states that progressives must demonstrate selective tolerance for some, but not for others.

The principal could have used this as a “teachable moment” and asked the students why they found the American Flag so offensive, especially considering that it was Veteran’s Day. By not doing this it would appear that the school possesses an institutional vision that does not hold the United States in high regard. And the fact that the principal did not stand up for the right to display the flag on veteran’s day may indicate that he does not veteran’s in high regard. Even though I consider the vast majority of wars unjust, destructive and counter-productive, I still hold our veterans in high regard. But, apparently this is not the case among bizarro institutions.

It would be also worth questioning if any aspect of the bizarro school’s curriculum contributed to the general antipathy of these students towards the United States. During my time in the Master’s in Education Program it was clear that most of my professors subscribed to a vision that schools should eschew assimilation towards or even the existence of a common American identity, instead nurturing a student’s ethnic and cultural background. I believe that indirectly this has made the said antipathy possible. Keep in mind that I encourage parents and communities to teach their children about their culture, traditions, celebrations, history and language. And of course they are always welcome to send their children to private (Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Etc.) schools that promote their ethno-religious identity, but it’s not the job of public schools to do so. The only question that remains is if Lex Luthor is behind this.

School Makes Boy Take American Flag Off Bike

Officials Later Backtrack; Allow Boy to Fly Flag on Bike

By 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.

Watch the video here:

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.

After being contacted by FOX40 Friday morning, Denair's Superintendent says Cody will be allowed to keep the flag on his bike. He told FOX40 he and the school are patriotic, but their main priority is keeping students safe; the school will focus on the students who are causing uprisings. Riding a bike is still not allowed on school campus, but when Cody rides his bike to school he can now fly the flag.,0,3045879.htmlstory

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