Tara Malone, Daily Herald (Illinois), Oct. 6
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.
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 2,550 students enrolled at Larkin last year, 38.4 percent were Latino. Nearly a quarter of students were new to English. Information for the current school year is not yet available.