Confederate flag banned after students wearing it use homophobic slurs
The Confederate flag was banned at an Indiana high school this week after students within the LGBT community complained it was being used to taunt them.
The superintendent of Bloomington High Schools made the decision to ban the flag after four students showed up wearing them as capes.
A number of students reported that the students wrapped in the flags were a display of “intimidating hate speech.”
“It also has become something that symbolises anti-gay at our school,” student Gaia Hendrix-Petry told local reporters.
“They were using the ‘F’ slur and they were saying that if the gays get to wear the rainbow flag, then they should get to wear the Confederate flag, because it represents their heritage,” a different student added.
Principal Jeffry Henderson sent a letter to students and parents following the incident.
“Throughout the day, this issue has evolved into one that has created a substantial disruption to the educational environment. As a result, students may no longer wear or display images of the confederate flag on their clothing or any other personal item while at school or a school-sponsored event or function due to the disruption it has created.
“Please discuss this with your student and ensure that they understand that they are not to wear or display the confederate flag on any item,” he added.
A number of students felt unsafe around those wearing the capes. Caleb poer said: “Everyone felt pretty unsafe. Me, myself, I could not even eat lunch.
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“It’s made me sick to my stomach, absolutely. If you can’t feel safe in school and that kind of thing is going on around here, it’s not just me. It’s the collective feeling of everyone,” he added.
Sarah Hannon was also among the offended students who pushed for action.
“I’m definitely really proud that our school district took a big step towards combating institutionally accepted discrimination,” she said. “It’s a good feeling knowing that we did something meaningful that I feel was bigger than just our school.”
Violations of the new rule will be dealt with case by case but students are hoping for a clearer policy to come into play soon.
School district spokesman Andrew Clampitt said the school system does not support behaviour that causes “a substantial disruption.”
He said: “We can’t allow and that’s where we stand as a corporation. We don’t want to hinder our students’ learning abilities. That’s one of our top priorities.”