LONGMONT, Colo. (April 1) – Dozens of high school students protested a temporary school policy forbidding students from displaying the U.S. flag – as well as flags from other countries – amid racial tensions following immigration rallies.
Skyline High School Principal Tom Stumpf said American flags were brazenly waved in the faces of Hispanic students and in one case a Mexican flag was thrown into the face of another student.
"When it involves the American flag and its abuse in vilifying other people, we simply will not tolerate it," Stumpf said. "They were using the symbol derisively as misguided patriotism."
Students were warned about the policy Friday and several were suspended, although Stumpf would not provide details. Then, about 100 students protested during lunch time.
Student Dustin Carlson told Denver station KCNC-TV that he was suspended for two days.
"I’m getting suspended for it and personally I think that’s uncalled for," he said. "If this country means freedom, then why can’t we fly our own flag? It’s ridiculous."
Thousands of high school students Friday in California, Texas, Nevada and other states protested the tough immigration laws proposed in the House. Some waved Mexican flags and carried signs saying "We are not criminals."
On Monday, about 150 high school students, including some from Skyline, protested in Longmont.
"People are taking it to a whole other level," said Laura Avitia. "I don’t think they know why we were protesting."
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.