Part of the flyer for "Freedom Week" at my son's school:
Firstly (what an ugly word!), I don't think they're teaching the kids anything about what freedom means, beyond U.S.A. = Freedom. Of course I want my child to be able to analyze and deconstruct that with his eyes closed. And I'm frightened to think about how patriotism will be defined.
Secondly, I'm bothered because despite my largely-wordless-but-obvious sarcasm, my son wants to participate. That's how most kids are--they want to do what other kids around them are going to do. That's why people who brush off objections to school prayer and recitation of the pledge are clueless (or don't give a damn)--it doesn't matter if you say kids don't have to participate, they don't want to stand out like that. My saying, "Patriotism and freedom are not about wrapping yourself in some colors," has absolutely no effect now.
Finally, "Freedom Week" is the week after Spetember 11. How many more ways can a legitimate tragedy be milked of all meaning to 1) make a political statement and 2) demand false displays of nationalism?
I know there are some things I have to accept, living in the South (and as I told my Texas students, you joined the Confederacy, you are at least partially southern :-), but damn, this is ridiculous.
P.S. What does it mean, to "support the flag?" That was strange to me.