Flag flap: confederate flag controversy keeps students from attending
They say they're just "good ol' boys" who, like the song
goes, were "never meaning no harm." But three Bloomington Kennedy seniors were
not allowed to attend their commencement Wednesday night after bringing a
Confederate flag to school on Tuesday.
"We're all big fans of the Dukes of Hazard," said Dan Fredin, who was
suspended, along with Joe Snyder and Justin Thompson. "It's just us showing we
have our own style and we aren't going to conform to whatever anyone else
School officials say at least one of the students waved and carried the
flag in the parking lot.The boys argue they never took the flags off their
trucks, but they admit they brought them to the school.
Officials asked the students to remove the flags. Eventually, all three
students were suspended for three days -- which, in this case, included
Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke
or offend other students. "We are very clear that the Confederate flag is
a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism," said Rick Kaufman, the Executive
Director of Community Relations at Bloomington Kennedy High School. "It's truly
unfortunate that the bad decision they made will prevent them from walking
across the stage in graduation," Kaufman said adding that the school has dealt
with students bringing confederate flags to school before.
But the students argue the punishment doesn't fit the crime. They say they
show the flag as a sign of rebellion, not racism.
"The confederate army was in rebellion to the U.S. Army who were about
money and power," Fredin said. "We never took it as racial or anything like
Meantime, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the students
would likely not have a case in court. "If the authorities can make the claim
that the presence of the flag can reasonably disrupt the educational process
than they can censor it," said Charles Samuelson with the ACLU of
The three students will still receive their diplomas. Already they have
plans for next year, which for two of them, includes serving in the U.S.
So, did you see the line, "Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke or offend other students. " That's pretty vague, and leaves the door open for way too many things.
What if someone is offended by cheerleaders (the exploitation of underage girls)?
What if a vegan student is offended by others eating meat at lunchtime?
What if a heterosexual student is offended by 2 gay students holding hands?
Seems to me that these kids are victims of a society that bends over backward to try and not offend people; the problem is, they only worry about offending certain people. That type of disparity is something that not only won't unite people, but most certainly will divide them. Saying that the Confederate flag is "a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism" is utter crap -- if you believe that, then every flag of every nation is a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism, because all nations have checkered pasts.