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Students Suspended After Refusing to Remove Confederate Flag Apparel

Students Suspended After Refusing to Remove Confederate Flag Apparel

Year after year, back-to-school season often stirs up conversations about school dress code and what is appropriate for students to wear in the classroom.

In western Virginia high school, however, debate over school dress code took on a whole new meaning when 20 students were suspended after refusing to remove Confederate flag apparel from their persons and cars during a rally for the symbol.

"The dress code at the school in Christiansburg — south of Blacksburg along Interstate 81 — prohibits students from wearing articles that reflect adversely on people because of race, gender, or other factors. A new policy this fall bans students from having Confederate symbols on their vehicles in the parking lot," said Fox News.

The high school hosts 1,100 students, of which 83 percent are white and 8 percent are black, Fox News said of state data.

"We are not issuing a judgment on the flag, but know that not allowing it at CHS supports a peaceful educational environment in the building...Continued racial friction suggests that lifting the ban of this particular symbol would cause significant disruption at the school," said Brenda Drake, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County Public Schools in a statement.

While several students adhered to the new policy and removed Confederate flags from their vehicles, 21 students were disciplined after refusing to comply. 15 of those students were sent home for the day while two were suspended for additional days for being combative. The remaining students were punished with in-school suspension.

Some parents within the district are urging school officials to reverse the policy, and at least one attorney in the area is considering filing a lawsuit against the school.

"Douglas Mertz, an attorney in Juneau, Alaska, who works on civil rights cases, said the courts have been divided over the issue. It often comes down to whether the school can point to concrete and specific problems that the symbol has caused, like a fight that broke out between students," the article said.

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Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


What do you think? Necessary policy or rights violation?

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