21 High School Students Suspended For Wearing Confederate Flag

I assume everyone is familiar with the Civil War. The Civil War represented the South’s attempt to separate from the North and make themselves their own country. The South wanted slavery and they still thought that African Americans were worthless and that they were to work for them. The North thought differently. They believed everyone has the right for freedom and shouldn’t be treated in such a harsh manner. Thus, conflict ensued. The South created their own flag and called themselves The Confederate States of America. Fox reported on Friday, September 18, 2015, that 21 Virginia high school students were suspended for wearing confederate flags on school property.

At Christiansburg High School more than 20 students surrounded the school parking lot wearing confederate flags on their clothing and putting it on their cars. The students refused to remove the flags and were therefore suspended. The rally was organized by senior Houston Miller. Miller said he didn’t think that the school had the right to tell students what they are and aren’t allowed to wear. “I feel like I should have the right to wear whatever I want, and I’m standing up for this,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.

The school’s dress code states that students aren’t allowed to wear articles that reflect negatively on someone because of their ethnicity, gender, or other factors. Because of the events in the parking lot, Christiansburg is administrating a new rule that states students are prohibited to put confederate symbols on their vehicles in the school parking lot.

The 21 students who refused to remove the confederate symbols were given in-school suspensions, said Brenda Drake, who is a spokeswomen for Montgomery County Public Schools. Two more students were suspended for additional days. Drake also mentioned other “incidents of racial tension” which  made the ban necessary.

Some students were saying that there confederacy loyalty was because of southern heritage. “I understand some people take it as hate, but none of us out there were racist or anything,” Willis said. “I don’t see it as hate. If I did, I wouldn’t own it. I see it as this is your Southern heritage, and if you can’t have that, then what can you have?”

Confederate symbols have shown up increasingly through public surveillance. During the June massacre of 17 black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The man charged of the massacre, Dylan Roof, was holding the confederate flag.

The ban of confederate flags have even angered some parents. Students and parents are starting petitions online and so far 1,200 have shown support. They too think that the school should remove the ban. Students are even being persuaded into filing lawsuits against the school. Douglas Mertz, an attorney in Alaska says, “The Supreme Court has said that you don’t speculate that there might be a substantial impact on the education process. It has got to be really clear,” Mertz said. “School officials can’t simply go in with the belief that symbols are trouble and therefore can be banned,” he said. The outcome of this case is undetermined and certainly unpredictable.

-P.