Reagan High School Principal Robert Pambello was ordered to remove a Mexican flag Wednesday morning that he had hoisted below the U.S. and Texas flags that typically fly in front of his school — a symbol he agreed to fly to show support for his predominantly Hispanic student body.
At nearby Hamilton Middle School, a child was asked to wipe off Mexican and U.S. flags painted on his face. Hundreds of other students carried Mexican flags during walkouts Wednesday — acts of protest that they vow to continue until Congress rejects legislation that would further restrict immigration.
“There’s no other way to be heard … It’s not the best way or the right way, but it’s our way,” Reagan freshman Jose Lopez, 14, said of the effort.
The Mexican flag has become a lightning rod in the immigration debate that’s consumed the city and the nation this week. Students say the flag represents their pride in the contributions Mexicans make to this country. Critics, though, said watching young Hispanics in the streets with the red, green and white flags is more than they can stand. These youngsters are in the United States and should — at the least — carry the U.S. flag, they argue.
“The whole thing just makes my blood boil,” said Bruce R. Wing, a 52-year-old Missouri City resident. “I want them all out of here.”
Wing said the Houston Independent School District should fire Pambello.
HISD leaders said no decision has been made about possible discipline against the principal, who declined interview requests Wednesday.
“It is appropriate to fly the flags of the United States and Texas over schools in the Houston Independent School District, since we are a public entity of the state,” HISD spokesman Terry Abbott said. “It would not be appropriate for the school district to advocate allegiance to a country other than the United States. Therefore, it is not appropriate to permit use of school district flagpoles for the purpose of flying flags representing other countries.”
Raul Ramos, a professor of Texas history at the University of Houston, said most Mexican-Americans see no contradiction in flying the Mexican flag alongside those of Texas and the United States.
“Most students at Reagan High School have relatives or ancestors from Mexico,” said Ramos. “The flag represents Mexican heritage as much if not more than citizenship.”
Calling HISD’s decision a reaction to cultural anxiety, he said, “it’s important for the school to make efforts to identify with the student body,” not vice versa. “The school, after all, reflects the ethnic identity of the students sitting in its classrooms.”
Nearly 60 percent of HISD’s 200,000-plus students are Hispanic.
Ok, I have a couple of problems here:
The school is supposed to relate to the children and not vice versa? The school, after all, reflects the ethnic identity of the students sitting in its classrooms? The kids are there to learn not teach. They should be being taught how to be a good American not teaching the school to be good Mexicans. This is just more Left wing idiocy! The Left through our education system is deconstructing our culture! You don’t teach them to embrace their foreign culture, you teach them to embrace American culture! You don’t treat them like Mexicans, you treat all students equally as Americans. If they are not American citizens than they shouldn’t be in our public schools.
Showing ones cultural heritage does not include flying a flag from another country on the school flagpole. However, He did put it below the other flags which is appropriate. But, if a non-minority, was to do something like this there would be an outcry about being insensitive to other students not of that heritage.
60 percent Hispanic? If I knew they were all here legally that wouldn’t bother me, but how many of them are illegal? That is our tax dollars being used to educate children that don’t belong here in the first place. People lose their homes over not being able to pay property taxes, and that is what pays for public education.
Pride in what Mexicans have done for this country? You mean the Mexican-American war? Gee, since my people, the Irish, pretty well settled this dang country why not fly an Irish flag? Or maybe we should fly a Chinese flag since they laid the tracks for the railroad? But people are going to defend this attitude.
As for the kids walking out? Who really cares other than the school because they are losing our federal tax dollars.
Some Reagan students said they will try to raise a Mexican flag again today. They said they want it to fly at least above the Texas flag on the pole.
“Just because you’re in the country doesn’t mean you can’t show your culture,” said Lewis Ramirez, 16, a sophomore at Reagan High.
And that is the final example of their attitude, they want to fly the Mexican flag AT LEAST ABOVE the Texas flag. That means they think Mexico is more important then their own state. It also means they would like to fly it above the U.S. flag. flying flags show allegiance, and we are supposed to pledge allegiance to the United States of America.
How do you think those that gave their lives to fight for Texas independence would feel about seeing the Mexican flag flying in Texas again? How about the descendants of those people who died during the Mexican-American war?
This is just going to work in the favor of those, like me, that want all illegal Aliens in this country gone. If you love Mexico so much GO BACK TO MEXICO! Those that feel this way and are LEGAL can apply to immigrate to Mexico as well.
Students said the makeshift rally was publicized through text messages.
A text message sent by an HISD student Wednesday encouraged more walkouts.
Part of it read: “Do ANY of you know how much money our schools make for each student that attends everyday … Imagine how much money they would lose if we didn’t go.”
Getting a FREE education is a privilege that should be appreciated, but these kids obviously don’t care. So I would suspend all of them, and if they did it again I would expel them permanently. Then they can have true solidarity with the poor Mexican people. They will have no education and crappy jobs.
I am sick of people in this country not appreciating what The U.S. does for them and everyone else.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email me and let me know at what level you would like to participate.