A group of California high school students were sent home for wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. An administrator at Live Oak High School told one of the students that the American flag t-shirt was "incendiary."
According to published reports, the five boys were sitting at a table when they were ordered to remove American flag bandannas and turn their flag t-shirts inside-out. When they refused, they were taken to the principal's office.
"They told us basically we take it off or we can get suspended," Matthew Dariano told KCBA, the FOX affiliate in Monterey.
"They said we could wear it on any other day, but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today," said Daniel Galli, in an interview with the KTVU in San Francisco.
The students were allegedly told that Cinco de Mayo is "not the day for patriotism."
"I have no problem with them wearing their Mexico flags," student Dominic Macio told KCBA. "I just thought I'd show my pride, my American pride."
Mexican-American students at the high school said they were offended by the American flag displays and demanded action. Some students demanded the boys apologize because it was a Mexican heritage day.
When it comes to an apology, the boys and their families said, "Fat chance."
"I just couldn't believe it," Julie Fagerstrom told the Morgan Hill Times. Her son is one of the students in trouble. "I'm an open-minded parent, but it's got to be on both sides. It can't be five kids singled out."
Other students were allowed to display the Mexican flag as well as dress in the colors of the Mexican flag. The school even sponsored a group of professional dancers who performed and play Mexican music.
"It's sad it's come to this," Fagerstrom told the newspaper. "But we stand behind their patriotic nature and the boys expressing their individuality."
The Morgan Hill Unified School District released a statement supporting the boys - writing that it did not agree with how the high school handled the situation.
"In an attempt to foster a spirit of cultural awareness and maintain a safe and supportive school environment, the Live Oak High School administration took certain actions earlier today," the statement read. "The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration's interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.
The boys will not be suspended for their actions. They wrote a statement that detailed their support for American patriotism and that they felt disrespected and discriminated against when their First Amendment rights were discarded.
"We were not going to start a fight," student Matt Darino told the newspaper. "We wanted to show our pride."
The five students will not be suspended as a result of their actions.