Florida School Sends Home Haitian Students For Celebrating Haitian Flag Day With T-Shirts
The two most important holidays for Haitian Americans are Haitian Independence Day and Haitian Flag Day. This week on Wednesday (May 18), many celebrated and showed their pride on Flag Day. However, things took a turn for the worse when students of Immokalee High in Collier County, Florida wanted to commemorate their Haitian culture and heritage that day.
When students arrived to school sporting shirts emblazoned with Haitian flags, it was said that they disregarded the school district’s Student Code of Conduct. Apparently, said code of conduct states students are prohibited from wearing or displaying all but four flags: the United States flag, the POW-MIA flag, the State of Florida flag and official school flags.
According to the Naples Daily News, nearly half a dozen students who wore the Haitian flag shirts to school were told to go home and change. When some of the students refused, they were sent home.
“As soon as we got off the bus, a teacher was like pointing at us,” sophomore Jesola Pierre told NBC 2. “This is the day that we got our freedom. Why wouldn’t I represent? This happened even though officials at Immokalee High, which has a significant number of Haitian students, have in the past looked the other way when the students celebrated Flag Day by wearing the Haitian Flag.”
While the school’s policy is staunch on wearing or displaying flags, the policy also expresses that wearing national flags from various countries is also allowed “on special occasions” with each school’s principal in the county allowed to exercise that portion of the policy at their discretion.