Students from a school in Coachella were ordered to remove depictions of Mexican culture from a performance in September.

by Joseph Hong, Palm Springs Desert Sun2018

Students from Cesar Chavez Elementary in Coachella were ordered to remove depictions of Mexican culture from a performance in September about Mexican Independence Day at the La Quinta Public Library, a school official said.

Superintendent Edwin Gomez sent a letter to the city of La Quinta detailing the treatment experienced by the elementary pupils. In it, he said the city ordered that the Sept. 15 presentation be changed after a resident complained about showcasing Mexican culture. Maria Hassan, the teacher who organized the performance, was told to remove the Mexican flag as well as references to Hispanic culture from the students’ performance, Gomez wrote in a letter dated Oct. 11.

“I was informed that we could not proceed the way we had planned because they had received word from the city mayor that we couldn’t do anything with the Mexican flag or Mexican culture,” Hassan said in an interview. “I was very emotional, and I had so many students around me.”

The children ended up giving a scaled-back performance that made no mention of Mexican Independence Day. They were not allowed to display the Mexican flag. Hassan said the 50 students performed in folkloric Mexican costumes without being able to provide the historical context.

Read the full story via The New York Times