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Flag flap continues

POSTED March 22, 2011 9:49 p.m.
This letter was given to the Turlock Journal on Tuesday in response to the article “Memo resurrects flag flap” published on March 19. The article explained that the Journal received an internal memorandum from an anonymous source. The memo was from Denair Unified School District Superintendent Edward Parraz to district staff and it recants the entire course of events that took place last Veteran’s Day when Denair Middle School student Cody Alicea removed a United States flag from his bike.

It is widely believed that Cody was told to take the flag off his bike on school grounds by a campus supervisor in order to avoid a potentially violent situation in which other students were offended by Cody’s flag.  

To: Mr. Edward E. Parraz, Denair Unified School District Staff and Board of Trustees.

CC: Jonathan McCorkell, Education Reporter, Turlock Journal

From: Daneen Kisner (Cody’s mother)

Date: March 17, 2011

Yesterday I was contacted by a newspaper who was asking for my response to your memo written on March 9, 2011. I was read the memo over the phone and since then I have been able to see it for myself. It is not true that this memo is a “more precise account to this incident,” and it does not “clarify the event and more accurately state what occurred.”

The facts are that:

1)      When Cody arrived at school at approximately 7:30 a.m. on November 8, 2010 your campus supervisor told

Cody to remove his flag from his bike and he was told that students were complaining. He was also told at that time by

the campus supervisor that he could not fly his flag on school grounds, and he was told to put it away. Cody complied

immediately by removing his flag from his bike and putting it in his backpack.

2)      When Cody came home from school, he told me about his frustrations from being told to take down his flag. Cody

and I drove to the school to talk to the principal at about 3:30 on November 8, 2010. When we arrived I was told that

he was not at school because he was sick. I was able to talk to the campus supervisor about the problem. She then

told me that he (the principal) had talked to her about Cody’s flag on the previous Friday and instructed her to have

Cody remove his flag on Monday morning. During this conversation she told of their concern for Cody’s safety. Before

we left she told us that it was going to be necessary for Cody to remove his flag before he comes on school grounds

and put it away until he rides off school grounds in the afternoon. I told her that I did not agree with their decision and

told her this was not the end of this issue.

I would think if there was a concern for Cody’s safety I should have been notified immediately. If there are students

who have a problem with Cody flying his flag and if they are creating a problem at school, then perhaps the school

should address that problem with those students. Do not take away Cody’s freedom to fly the American Flag in

America! He did not do anything wrong.

Neither the original statement made on November 12, 2010, nor the revised statement on March 9, 2011 reflects what

actually happened.

I can’t possibly think of a good reason for you to write a memo that makes me out to be some sort of fool and to imply

that we have lied.

This latest memo of March 9, 2011 appears to me to be an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for actions taken

possibly in order to avoid consequences of those actions.

At this point your memo needs to be clarified correctly and there needs to be no question in anyone’s mind who has

seen this memo as to the facts about what happened on November 8, 2010. 

Superintendent Ed Parraz has repeatedly declined further comment on the matter. The Turlock Journal will be filing a Freedom of Information Act request for all correspondence between the school district, Board of Trustees and the superintendent.

 

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