PARACHUTE, Colo. (KDVR) — A senior from Grand Valley High School has started a petition because she says she is not allowed to wear a customized sash with the Mexican flag to graduation.
In the Change.org petition, Naomi Peña said she is not allowed to wear a customized sash with the Mexican flag to her high school graduation “because it can be seen as offensive to others.”
“My high school administration and superintendent have said ‘no’ twice. However, there are NO WRITTEN policies that state otherwise. I will not allow my culture, heritage, and nationality to be shut down from being represented. This goes for my current classmates’ cultures as well as future graduate classes,” Peña explained in the petition.
We reached out to the school for comment and are waiting to hear back.
However, the Post Independent said they spoke with Garfield 16 Superintendent Jennifer Baugh. The Post Independent said Baugh sent an email to Peña’s family saying that representing nationalities specifically on a sash could allow for any other students to wear a pin with a flag of their country’s nationality, which could lead to students deciding to wear a Confederate Flag because, “that student was from a Southern state.”
“To some people, the Confederate flag symbolizes much more than just the Confederacy at the time of the Civil War,” Baugh said in an email shared with the Post Independent, adding that the typical practice is to prevent students from wearing other offensive flags. “If people get offended, we would not be able to tell that student he/she couldn’t wear that pin because we cannot discriminate against that student, regardless of whether or not we agree or disagree with them.”
Peña said on Change.org that she is doing the petition for not only herself, but also for future classmates who want to represent their culture and heritage.
The petition has received over 2,400 signatures so far.