“USA” chants have spelled trouble for California high school students.
According to The Huffington Post, a number of Camarillo High School students wearing American flag bandanas started to chant at a basketball game vs. the visiting Rio Mesa High.
The Ventura County Star reported that an administrator told students to remove the headbands and stop chanting for fear of offending the other team, which was mostly Latino-based.
The group ignored the instructions and continued under the leadership of two students, Austin Medeiros and Stefan Valenzuela.
“We’ve done it always,” Medeiros told the Ventura County Star. “It’s something we do. It’s the same group of friends. We’re all very patriotic.”
The school initial reaction was to suspend the two youths for five days. However, the suspension was eventually dropped following a public protest of the school’s punishment.
“It has nothing to do with being patriotic or unpatriotic,” Superintendent of Oxnard Union School District Gabe Soumakian told Fox News. “It has to do with the fact that they are making a chant regarding that we are from the USA and you’re not. Whether that’s the implied intent, that’s the way it comes across.”
The California Department of Education’s website indicates that 67 percent of Rio Mesa High School students and 37 percent of Camarillo’s are Hispanic.