Students protesting a ban on Confederate flag clothing at Christiansburg High School in Virginia were suspended for participating in a Thursday morning rally.
“I think certainly we value First Amendment rights, but we have to maintain an orderly and safe environment for all students,” said Brenda Drake, a spokesman for the high school.
Students were saying that school policy, which bans any clothing that could “reflect adversely on persons due to race,” should not apply to the Confederate flag.
“We’re doing it to raise a point that the flag is not racist. Everyone else can wear whatever shirts they want, but we’re not. We just said, ‘It’s time to put a stop to it,” one student told The Washington Post.
Drake said Confederate clothing was added to the ban after a 2002 fight between black and white students, in which some were wearing Confederate clothing.
The Washington Post tied the issue to Dylann Roof, a white man who allegeldy shot and killed nine people in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Roof was photographed holding mini-sized Confederate flags on many occasions. It is not known whether Gold’s Gym shirts will be banned by the school board as well, as Roof was often seen wearing a Gold’s Gym shirt.
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