Mexican flag burned following week of protests
PHOENIX (AP) -- Following a week of massive immigrant rights protests, a group of students in Apache Junction burned a Mexican flag, reported a local newspaper.
A Hispanic student had brought the flag to school Thursday morning in a response to what he said was a racist remark directed at him the day before. After he and other students raised the flag over Apache Junction High School, another group of students took it down and burned it, according to the East Valley Tribune newspaper.
The burning and ensuing shoving match between the two groups of students happened before most students arrived at the school.
The six students - three Hispanic and three white - will be disciplined, said school principal Chad Wilson. Officials with the Apache Junction Unified School District would not specify what kind of punishment the students face.
"I know (they) shouldn't have burned the Mexican flag," said sophomore Jacob Stewart, 16. "I heard it was raised above the American flag, and that just irked me."
The school will increase supervision because of the incident, Wilson said in a letter sent home to parents. The increased security will include four off-duty police officers the district hired as security guards, Wilson said.
District spokeswoman Carol Shepherd said the additional security was being brought in as a precaution.
"It's one of those situations where if you didn't have additional security and something did happen, we'd be challenged by parents about why we didn't do anything," she said.
By early afternoon Thursday, district officials said the environment on campus had sufficiently calmed down.
About 17 percent of the overall student body is Latino, according to the district.
Wilson said he e-mailed teachers separately Thursday about the incident, but left it up to them to decide if and how they should address the issue in their classrooms.
He emphasized that six out of the school's 1,618 students were involved in the flag fight, and many students might not have the same problems dealing with the racially charged immigration debate.
School flagpoles have been lightning rods across the country this week, including an incident in which a Houston high school principal was disciplined after he flew a Mexican flag underneath his campus' U.S. and state flags.
A new political awareness among high school students has also been grabbing attention, as thousands of teenagers in Arizona and other states have walked out of classes to join rallies nationwide.
Last Friday, more than 20,000 people protested in downtown Phoenix against a bill that would have made it a felony to be an illegal immigrant in the United States.
Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune, http://www.aztrib.com
Stupid ignorant Mexican kids. If you love the Mexican flag more than the American flag then leave this country and go live there.
I don't wanna see a bunch Jackass drop outs on the news holding up a flag of another country in America. Be proud of your heritege whatever it is but Be American First HERE!
Someone please deport these kids across the fence, then we'll see how fast they start waving the red white and blue.
I don't wanna pay for, or have my tax dollars go towards 12 Million ILLEGAL aliens in anyway shape or form. We need to put our national guard or military on that fence. I love Bush to death but next election "We" need to elect a president who has some BALLS and will protect our borders!
I'm tired of pushing #1 for english for customer service on the phone and 2nd generation kids who can't even speak english in our school system.
Assimilate or get the Hell Out!
Those kids who tore down and burned the Mexican flag in that school are Hero's in my eyes and true Patriots. The hell if I'll let someone burn, tear or dimeaner my flag in my country in front of me. What nerve of some ass to lower our flag and raise the colors of another
My blog rant for the day. My words are probably harsh but oh well