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October 08, 2005

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scottb

Wal-Mart Turns in Student’s Anti-Bush Photo, Secret Service Investigates Him
By Matthew Rothschild
October 4, 2005

Selina Jarvis is the chair of the social studies department at Currituck County High School in North Carolina, and she is not used to having the Secret Service question her or one of her students.

But that’s what happened on September 20.

Jarvis had assigned her senior civics and economics class “to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights,” she says. One student “had taken a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb’s down sign with his own hand next to the President’s picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster.”

According to Jarvis, the student, who remains anonymous, was just doing his assignment, illustrating the right to dissent.

But over at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, where the student took his film to be developed, this right is evidently suspect.

An employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service.

On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High.“At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster,” Jarvis says. “I didn’t believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn’t there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others.”

She says the student was upset.

“He was nervous, he was scared, and his parents were out of town on business,” says Jarvis.

She, too, had to talk to the Secret Service.

“Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room,” she says. “Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he’d never been in any trouble.”

Then they got down to his poster.

“They asked me, didn’t I think that it was suspicious,” she recalls. “I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!”

At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident “would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted,” she says.

The student was not indicted, and the Secret Service did not pursue the case further.

“I blame Wal-Mart more than anybody,” she says. “I was really disgusted with them. But everyone was using poor judgment, from Wal-Mart up to the Secret Service.”

A person in the photo department at the Wal-Mart in Kitty Hawk said, “You have to call either the home office or the authorities to get any information about that.”

Jacquie Young, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart at company headquarters, did not provide comment within a 24-hour period.

Sharon Davenport of the Kitty Hawk Police Department said, “We just handed it over” to the Secret Service. “No investigative report was filed.”

Jonathan Scherry, spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, D.C., said, “We ertainly respect artistic freedom, but we also have the responsibility to look into incidents when necessary. In this case, it was brought to our attention from a private citizen, a photo lab employee.”

Jarvis uses one word to describe the whole incident: “ridiculous.”

scottb

Then there is this:

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/kanestory.asp?id=102507

Student rebuked for sitting during Mexican anthem
Son refused to stand for Mexico anthem

By Tara Malone
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, October 06, 2005

A recent Mexican Independence Day assembly at Larkin High may have taken cultural sensitivity one step too far, a Larkin parent said this week.

Robert Bedard said his son was reprimanded when he declined to stand for the Mexican National Anthem during a ceremony at the west Elgin school last month.

His 17-year-old son, a senior in the process of enlisting, feared honoring another nation’s anthem might jeopardize his military status. Sitting down cost him a trip to the office.

Bedard questioned this week whether the scales of cultural diversity may have tilted out of balance.

“I am concerned that the Mexican Americans have unfairly monopolized the teaching of cultural awareness at this school,” said Bedard, a lieutenant with the Elgin fire department. “At least that’s the perspective of a parent. I’d love to be corrected.”

School leaders sought to do just that.

Just as Latino students orchestrated an assembly for Mexican Independence Day, officials said, black students host an assembly commemorating black history month in February.

“If we were teaching one culture’s history over another, then we have an issue,” school board President Ken Kaczynski said Wednesday. “But I don’t think that’s the case.”

The history lesson followed a maelstrom of controversy last spring when a Larkin student wrote an essay lamenting the celebration of Mexican holidays in American schools.

The teen faulted Mexican students, saying they shouldn’t have lowered the American flag in favor of a Mexican flag on Sept. 16, 2004.

Larkin officials later said the American flag was raised again before class began. No students ever were found responsible.

“Of the ethnic groups at Larkin,” Principal Richard Webb said, “the Hispanic group is growing at the most increased rate and of that Hispanic group, the vast majority of students are Mexican-American.”

Of the 2,550 students enrolled at Larkin last year, 38.4æpercent were Latino. Nearly a quarter of students were new to English. Information for the current school year is not yet available.

Four years earlier, 20 percent of the school’s 2,029 students were Latino, according to the 2000 school report card. Some 10 percent of students spoke English as a second language.

As the school grows more diverse, cultural assemblies will follow, Bedard said. But they should take care to represent a range of cultures, including the homegrown one.

“If they have an assembly, I would be happy if they will not try to force students to honor patriotic elements of another culture unless they also honor our flag, our anthem as well,” Bedard said. “It’s just respect for both cultures.”

tommy

cool. i made that based on something similar i found in an old issue of retrofuturism. the original was referring to George Bush Senior and his Gulf War #1.

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