Teacher in Salinas Flag Flap Apologizes

Student Says Teacher Called Flag Drawing Offensive

Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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A Salinas middle school art teacher apologized Monday for calling a student's picture of the American flag offensive.

Earlier this month, 13-year-old Taryn Hatahaway said her art teacher at Gavilian View Middle School called her picture of the American flag offensive, while turning around and praising another student's photo of President Obama.

The incident received national media attention, and Santa Rita School District officials said they have been bombarded with e-mails and phone messages of people upset at the teacher's actions.

On Monday, art teacher Peggy Saunders apologized to Hathaway for telling her to stop drawing the American flag.  She still did not explain what she found offensive about the picture.

"It was very important because she finally admitted she did something wrong, because before she was denying everything," Hathaway said.

But Hathaway's parents said they are still upset that Saunders told the girl that she shouldn't have told her parents about the incident.

The Hathaways said that it was the wrong message to be sending.

"I'm still a little upset about the comment (of) 'You shouldn't (have) gotten your parents involved, and 'It should've stayed between us,'" Tracy Hathaway, Taryn's mother, said.

Tracey Hathaway said the district superintendent told her that he plans to talk with the teacher about the comments made to Taryn.

 This article originally appeared on KSBW.com.

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