Students at Immokalee High in Florida were in for a surprise when they came to school wearing their Haitian pride on their sleeves.
At least six students were asked to go home and change clothes after they showed up to school wearing t-shirts and other clothing that featured the Haitian flag this past Wednesday, May 18. They were wearing the colors to celebrate Haitian Flag Day but as they soon found out, their school district only allows for students to wear four flags: the United States flag, the POW-MIA flag, the State of Florida flag and official school flags.
When the students refused to change their attire, they were sent home as punishment.
Raw Story reports:
This happened even though officials at Immokalee High, which has a significant number of Haitian students, have in the past looked the other way when the students celebrated Flag Day by wearing the Haitian Flag.
So what changed this year?
Apparently the students celebrating Flag Day have in the past taken their celebration beyond simply wearing articles of clothing.
“Last year we had 200 kids running down the hallways and blaring music,” school district spokesman Greg Turchetta told the Daily News. “There are (advanced placement) exams going on at the school. Obviously, it’s imperative that there are no disruptions on campus today.”
Students say that they were singled out by teachers as soon as they got off their school bus and also criticized how the school went out of their way for Mexican students on Cinco De Mayo.
“On Cinco de Mayo, they had all the tacos and we didn’t say nothing. But when it came to Haitian Flag Day, they wanted to take away our fun,” sophomore Casidy Previlus told a local NBC affiliate station.
This was not the only Haitian Flag Day-related conflict at a school. A Coral Springs, Fla. student was suspended after tweeting about her school principal confiscating her friends’ flags.
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