I'm pleased to announce that Edward Parraz, the California school superintendent who last week defended the prohibition of a 13-year old boy having an American flag on his bike, has changed his mind.
I'm not so pleased to see how he's now blaming the whole thing on an underling.
Last week (as you can read yourself in this Vital Signs post), Mr. Parraz was all for the prohibition. He openly (though ignorantly) defended it as an avoidance of racial tension, as an act of understanding different cultures, even as a sign of respect for the First Amendment.
But that was before the issue became a lightning rod across the blogosphere and into local TV news reports...before thousands of calls, e-mails and faxes came in protesting the heavy-handed move...before the population of this small town responded by flying American flags in solidarity with the young boy...before other students decided to risk expulsion from school for supporting the flag... and before parents and other locals organized a parade down Main Street to the school building featuring U.S. flags and red, white and blue attire.
Mr. Parraz began to feel a bit differently then.
But instead of just apologizing and moving on, he decided to throw one of his employees under the bus and act like he was against the ban all the time.
"It's one of those things that the campus supervisor was thinking in the best interest of Cody and it backfired on her," Parraz said Friday. "I think it was the right decision with the wrong result. She feels miserable."
Cody has had the flag on his bike since beginning of the school year and it was coincidental that it became a problem during the week of Veterans Day, which Parraz said is "the issue that made this look like Denair is the worst thing in the world."
Ah, so that's all it is -- a bad move by a "campus supervisor" complicated by bad timing. Parraz had nothing to do with it. So please forget those convoluted defenses of the flag banning he had previously given.
And be sure and save him a spot in the parade.
Update: You're gonna' love these two video clips!
And this terrific one from a local Fox TV station.