Debate Over Patriotic Bans Shuts Down Colorado Senate
Angry words exchanged in debate over withdrawing funding from schools that ban patriotic clothing or the American flag:
(AP) An angry exchange over patriotism abruptly ended a state Senate debate Wednesday over a proposal to cut funding to schools that ban students' display of the American flag or wearing red, white and blue clothing.**Update**Colorado Senate bill to punish schools who ban "respecful" displays of the U.S. flag passes:
Republican leader Sen. Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs proposed denying state grants to any school that bans the display of the flag or wearing clothing that depicts the flag or is in the colors of the flag. He wanted to include the measure in the annual bill that divides state funding among each school district.
Some Democrats said they would support the amendment after it was changed to protect students' respectful display or wearing of the flag. But Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, defended a decision by the principal of Longmont's Skyline High School to ban the display of American and Mexican flags because he said the school's safety was at stake after a racially charged confrontation over a national debate on immigration.
Sen. Jim Dyer, R-Centennial, called that the "plangent cry of the left" and said liberals were trying to equate the flag with something dangerous. Sens. Bob Bacon of Fort Collins and Ken Gordon of Denver took that as an attack against liberals' patriotism.
DENVER -- The Colorado Senate voted Wednesday to punish schools that ban respectful displays of the U.S. flag after a caustic partisan exchange among lawmakers shut down debate amid accusations of anti-Americanism.Only "respecful" displays are protected, and I agree with Sen. Groff (D):
The measure was prompted by recent school bans on flag displays following tension surrounding the debate over illegal immigration. It was passed by a vote of 28-3, with four Democrats choosing not to cast votes, and will now go to the House.
Debate earlier in the day was shut down after an angry exchange over patriotism and, after senators reconvened in the afternoon, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald warned that she would bring down the gavel on anyone who made a personal attack on another senator.
Following immigration rallies across the state and nation, the principal of Longmont's Skyline High School banned all American and Mexican flags because they had been waved in the faces of Hispanic students and a Mexican flag was thrown into the face of another student.
Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver, said he opposed the amendment because of the "respectful" provision. He said principles the flag stands for allows Americans to treat the flag anyway they want.This measure should not be needed in this country--this is America and the American flag we are talking about here--but it might be necessary in the light of the knee-jerk "diversity" and "harmony" arguments that have been used to promote the bans, however temporary in nature these bans are intended to be. Putting some pressure on schools and school districts to uphold the values of the country by permitting the country's flag to be displayed should be a no-brainer. It does not make sense to ban the flag while it remains flying in the classroom or in front of the school.
"We should have the passion and the vigor in this well to defend the principles behind that flag," said Groff, who voted against the amendment.
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