Freedom of expression necessary in high school

Opinions represent the view of the individual staff writer. They do not necessarily represent the view of other Legacy Press staff members, the student body, faculty, staff or the administration.

Editor’s Note: The event referenced in the opinion piece happened in Colorado.

At a high school in Colorado, students recently proposed having a “Merica Monday” to celebrate America. The idea was rejected by administration because they felt that this may offend international students and immigrants and potentially make them feel uncomfortable. I believe that this is absolutely unacceptable because it does not make sense for a person to enjoy the benefits of freedom in America if the flag offends them. Along with that, rejection of the spirit day is a violation of the First Amendment.

To me, it does not make sense for someone who is offended by America to live here, benefit from the economy, enjoy its rights and pay taxes like everyone else.

In 2010, nearly 12.9 percent of the American population was born in a foreign country. I understand that some younger children may not have emigrated by choice, but we receive most of our early knowledge and opinions from our parents.To me, this means that at least a tenth of the American population could possibly not even support the country.

Rejection of the spirit day is also in direct violation of the First Amendment, which protects Freedom of Speech. The Amendment states that the right of an individual to voice their opinion shall never be limited by a standing government, or in this case, high school administration. By the school rejecting the spirit day, they are denying the students the opportunity to voice their appreciation for the country that they live in. Even though they are not yet adults, the students still have protected rights as citizens of America.

Some people may say that by exhibiting patriotism can form or increase division between international students and American students. I say that it is a chance worth taking. It is possible that an even larger barrier could emerge, but students should have the freedom to express our opinions. I also believe that citizens should never take their freedom for granted. For me, that freedom represents everything that this country was founded on. I love this country, and for anyone who does not, no one is stopping them from leaving.