*** Youths in History: Jaiden Rodriguez

Youths in History: Jaiden Rodriguez (August 2023)

Jaiden Rodriguez

Figure 1.--Here we see 7th grader Jaiden Rodriguez with the Gadsden flag whuichb he undestands and his teachers and school administrators clearly do not. Jaiden is an honor-roll student, mid-mannered, but thoughtful 12- year old. In interviews he does not just blurt out answes, but pauses to think through questions asked. What is amazing about Jaiden's experience is that the teacher who wanted Jaiden punished believes intensly in her First Amendment free speech rights, but wants to supress the free speech rights of her students that dard disagree with her. Put your cursior on the image to see the bevy of bumper stickers on the back of her car. It is so indicative of how the American left has become a leader in the campaign to supress the free speech of people with which they disagree. And frigtening to think that they are the peoole who we turn our children over to even before primary school.

We are seeing things in America that we never thought that we would ever see. Now we have seen another. Growing up in the 1940s-50s, I attended schools where my teachers knew more than I did. We now see that some children know more than their teachers. One of those boys is brave little 12-year old Colorado 7th grader at the Vanguard School -- Jaiden Rodriguez. Jaiden was sent home because of a patch on his displaying several patches on his backpack, the famed Revolutionary War Gadsden flag. It is the yellow flag which features a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase 'Don’t tread on me.' He was reported by his teacher and a school administrator insisted that the patch be removed. Jaiden was brave enough to stand up for his First Amendment rights. This was not something his parents put him up to. It is something Jaiden felt strongly about because he knew a little about the Revolutionary War, which is teachers apparently do not. His mother explained, "I do want him to stand up for his rights, too, and I don’t want to say, ‘No, you bow down to the government'. It’s been a tough call to just let him do what he wants and say he’s at that age to make his own decisions." Smarts run in the family so when she went to the school to discuss the issue with school authorities, she videoed the conversation with the school representative. Mom complained that by making him miss three days of school over his patches, the charter school violated the Jaiden's First Amendment right. The Supreme Court has ruled on this, students do not lose their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door. This is important because some 85 percent of teachers are Democrats and many today see themselves as Social Justice Warriors with the right to impose their values and politics on their students. Now teachers znd school authorities have the right student speech to a degree, but it has to meet a struct test. It has to be a significant disruption to the educational mission of the school in order for the school to regulate the student’s speech. And Jaiden's little yellow patch comes no where close to that. Thanks to Mrs. Rodriguez's video, we know just what she was told. The school administrator insisted that Jaiden could not display the patch because of the flag’s 'origins with slavery and the slave trade.' The administrator was not talking about other patches--only the Gadsden Flag patch. Mrs. Rodriguez tried to explain that the Gadsden flag's origins date to the Revolutionary War and has no connection with slavery. Faced with actual history, the school administrator just said that she was enforcing school policy, not explaining why Jaiden and the Gadsden Flag was singled out. Many students had backpacks with patches, but only Jaiden was sent home. What actually is at play here is that many teachers today influenced by a historical concepts like left-wing Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project believe that America is an evil country and has a history rooted in oppression and slavery. And without any real knowledge of history and the degree to which the Revoklutuin was a key turning point in human freedom, saw the Gadsden Flag as an example of this manufactured oppression. In the meeting, Jaiden was clearly amused by the school administrator's clear lack of any real historical knowledge. If you want a more detailed discussion of Jaiden's experience here is You Tube Pod Cast. The school also claimed the 7th-grader violated dress code policy with other patches, including some displaying firearms. It was the Gasden Flag, however, that the school administrator focused on in speaking with Mrs. Ridriguez. Armed with the video, the whole incident went viral. Even Colorado's Democratic Governor Jared Polis sided with Jaiden. The video went viral resulting in a national outrage expressed by millions. There are now countless YT posts about Jaiden and his brave stance. But one Blog is especially interesting becausev we get to hear from Jaiden. The School’s Board of Directors called an emergency meeting and reportedly revered it's decision requiring Jaiden remove the flag patch, but notablyn did not apoligise or reprimand the teachetrs or school administratiors involved. . There is even legal precedent on the Gadsden Flag. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that the flag itself is not a racist symbol but is 'sometimes interpreted to convey racially tinged messages in some contexts. The EEOC refused to ban the flag. Jared is an amazingly articulate 12-year old. He knows about how the British were denying the Colonists basic rights and about the rights guaranteed Americans in the Constitution. He is an honor roll student that any competent teacher would love to have in their class. But because his teacher wants to restrict free speech in her class, she had issues with Jaiden. Ironically. Mrs. Rodriguez videoed her gar which is festooned with bumper stickers on issues she cares about, taking full benefit of the First Amendment. But she wants to prevent her students from enjoying those same rights sh son aggressive wants to deny her students. . It is frightening that this is going on in an American school. And we can thank a brave little 7th grader for standing up for our rights and his mother for creating a video record of what was going on at the school.


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Created: 7:52 AM 10/4/2023
Last updated: 7:52 AM 10/4/2023