TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A high school student says he may file a lawsuit against a physical education teacher who took a Mexican flag he had brought for Cinco de Mayo and put it in the garbage.
Clint Straatman denies Froylan Camelo’s version of events but said he took the flag Monday because “white kids” might have hurt the 16-year-old. He said he put it in a garbage can because he had no place else to keep it.
Camelo said he was changing into gym clothes at Minico High School in Rupert when Straatman told him, “Give me the flag.”
“I said, ‘What’s the problem?”‘ Camelo, speaking in Spanish, told The Times-News of Twin Falls. “He said, ‘The problem is that we are in the United States and not in Mexico.’ He grabbed it from me. He threw the flag in the garbage can.”
Camelo said that Straatman told him the flag would be returned at the end of the school day, but that Straatman taunted him instead.
“I asked, ‘Where is my flag?”‘ Camelo said. “He said, ‘What, the U.S. flag?’ I said, ‘No, the one for Mexico.’ But he wouldn’t give it to me.”
Camelo said he then took the undamaged flag out of the garbage. He said he’s been contacted by the American Civil Liberties Union and is considering a lawsuit against Straatman.