Morgan Hill school readies for Cinco de Mayo rallies, protests

A South Bay school district and local police are taking precautions ahead of rallies and protests planned on Cinco de Mayo.
May 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A rally will be held Monday at the same South Bay high school where a nationwide controversy erupted four years ago, when some students wore American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

No trespassing signs and a large fence now surrounds Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. The school district and police say it's just a precaution ahead of rallies planned on Cinco de Mayo.

"Apparently they don't want the children to be exposed to democracy in action," said Gilroy-Morgan Hill Patriots President Georgine Scott-Codiga.

Scott-Codiga says she will stand silently with 50 fellow members holding American flags before classes begin; all in the name of free speech.

In 2010, several students wore t-shirts with American flags to school on Cinco de Mayo. Some Latino students were offended. The school told the boys take off the t-shirts or go home. The case went to court, and a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the school.

"It was very upsetting to a lot of people that the flag, which is a positive American symbol of freedom, was banned," said Scott-Codiga.

Conservative Los Angeles radio talk show host Jimmy Z criticized the assistant principal and urges listeners to protest the school on Monday.

"So he's obviously go a bias here, obviously," said the talk show host. "Because if he didn't, he would recognize that the kids in high school have a right to free speech."

A counter demonstration will be held later in the day. Morgan Hill resident Joseph Carrillo plans his own Cinco de Mayo rally at the school.

"I think it's better to promote Cinco de Mayo as Cinco de Mayo, and not as an American protest," said Carrillo.

Some parents may keep their kids home. Student Anna Parker just wants the controversy to go away.

"I was a freshman when it happened," she said. "But, I mean, these people have the right to stand up for what they believe in. I think the kids are just annoyed because they just want to go about their school day."


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