The Denair Middle School has made the news on a national level after a 13 year old boy, Cody Alicea, was told to remove an American flag from his bicycle when on the school campus.
The incident occurred on Monday, November 8th when a campus supervisor asked 8th grade student, Cody Alicea, to remove an American flag from his bicycle while he was on school grounds. By Thursday, Veterans Day, the issue had gone viral as major television media sources were getting hundreds of thousands of hits on their website videos telling the story.
Denair Unified School District (DUSD) Superintendent Ed Parraz stated in a press release to the community that “This request was based on concerns for the student’s immediate safety, and to give school staff time to investigate a potentially dangerous situation, involving threats to this student.”
“While it is our responsibility to ensure that all students are safe at school, we also support every students’ First Amendment rights,” stated Parraz. “We are dealing with the students who threatened to disrupt the school environment. And, the student involved in this incident is now again proudly displaying his flag.”
Cody’s American flag flying on his bike was associated with “racial tension” and an incident regarding Cinco De Mayo.
Denair schools were closed from Thursday until Monday for Veterans Day but were still addressing major media throughout the weekend. The ban put on Cody flying the American flag on school campus had already been reversed over the holiday weekend.
Parraz’s statement went on to say “We recognize that we live in the greatest country in the world and that we should all be proud to display the American flag. It’s unfortunate that the entire story of this issue has not been fully portrayed in the media. Denair is a wonderful community, filled with hard working committed citizens who support our schools and our democracy.”
The “entire story of this issue” referenced in Parraz’s statement was in regards to all the news clips, internet blogs, and talk shows such Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Oprah that discussed the Denair American flag “ban” and the quickly revoked decision.
On Monday morning, the first day back to school since the national media firestorm began, Cody was escorted to school with a parade of motorcycle bikers flying their American flags on the back while American flag flying spectators cheered them on.
Cody’s escort took him to the front of the Denair Middle School where everyone rallied around the flagpole to say the “Pledge of Alliance” and sing the National Anthem.
Parraz also addressed a group of people trying to move forward with this unfortunate incident saying “I want to extend an apology for this happening. It happened on my watch, I’m taking full responsibility for it. It will never happen again. And I apologize to all of the veterans, thank you so much and God bless each and every one of the veterans.”
In the statement Parraz released to the community regarding the incident he said that he was proud to lead the schools in the community and sincerely hopes everyone can return the focus to their children and their education.
The incident will be addressed with the DUSD Board at their regular scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 18, in the District Leadership room located at 3460 Lester Road, Denair.