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In the last few days a story about a 12-year-old boy who was banned from classes because he had a Gadsden flag sticker on his backpack has gone viral, with the school, The Vanguard School, forced to cancel its parents night because of the outrage.
School officials had claimed that the Gadsden flag was not allowed at the school because it had “its origins in slavery and the slave trade,” a false statement of such utter ignorance of American history it leaves anyone with any education breathless with astonishment. The picture to the right shows the student Jaiden reacting in bemused disbelief at the moment that school official (in the background) made this absurd claim. He clearly knows more about American history than this brainless school official.
Not surprisingly, the uproar quickly caused the school’s board of directors to call an emergency meeting in which they backed down, especially as Jaiden had said he intended to continue to come to classes with the sticker on his pack, and would even do a sit-in if they dared try to kick him out again.
My purpose in mentioning this story however is to show how it illustrates so completely the bankruptcy of our education system today. Educators simply do not know American history, even though they are the people we expect to teach it. And when that ignorance is discovered, as in this case, they can’t just admit error and apologize, they have to equivocate and add more lies to their foolishness.
Director of Operations of the Vanguard School, Jeff Yocum, attempted to further justify the school’s policy on the Gadsden Flag by mentioning the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which said the flag “originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context” but added, “whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it has been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages.”
Yocum doubled down by citing a “graphic design scholar” in an article at TheConversation.com who said, “some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance hate — or even racism.” Then Yocum claimed Jaiden was breaking a rule by displaying the flag because students were prohibited from displaying things that referred to “drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons.”
If it feels like Yocum was scrambling in desperation to find justification for this false and clearly biased take on a patriotic flag, then you’re not alone.
The subsequent fast response of the school’s board of directors, where they claim they understand the correct “historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history”, is pure PR blather, since if it had been true before this kerfuffle then the teachers they hire would have never banned Jaiden from classes. They would have known what the flag truly represented — the American determination to free itself from Great Britain’s unjust policies — and they certainly would never have made the idiotic claims about the flag that they did.
Gadsden Flag – a symbol of unbowing defiance to oppression
What makes this story even more distressing is that the Vanguard School appears to be private charter school, founded by parents who wanted their kids to get a better education then what was available in the government public schools. It seems that won’t work if you hire teachers trained in the modern academic community. They will still be ignoramuses.
Jaiden and his parents however are heroes. They epitomize in every way possible the meaning of the Gadsden flag. Don’t run in fear. Don’t back down. Stand for what you believe in. And fight, fight hard when others try to smash their boot into your face. Freedom is worth fighting for, and in this case Jaiden stood for freedom.