CARROLLTON, Ga. – Mount Zion High School students are proud to be Americans, whether or not school officials support their patriotism.
They made that clear this week after a social media post ignited a controversy over the American flag on school property, and many students responded by flying Old Glory from their vehicles in parking lot, WSB-TV reports.
“They gathered at the school a day after a Facebook post in which (a) student wrote, ‘I find it disturbing that when my mom picks me up from school in my truck flying an American flag, a staff member comes outside and tells me that we are not allowed to fly it in the schools (sic) parking lot,” according to the news site.
The student’s friends, students LaChristopher Hebert and Nate Maples, were among numerous students who rebelled against the edict this week by attaching the American flag to their vehicles and parading around the school’s parking lot.
“We pledge that flag every day in the classroom. Why can’t we show our support outside the classrooms?” Maples added.
Carroll County school officials issued a statement about the ordeal after the student protest.
The primary focus of the Carroll County School System is to provide a safe, learning environment for all students. The school system does not have a policy or objection to displaying the American flag. We do request that all students and parents respect the learning environment of the school and refrain from causing disruptions on school grounds.
The administration at Mt. Zion High School had to address an issue on Tuesday morning involving students driving around in the parking lot before school in a disruptive manner playing loud music and displaying the American flag as well as the Confederate flag on the back of their vehicles. This issue was addressed in a respectful manner with very little disturbance.
It is the goal of the Carroll County School System to provide each and every student with a quality education while also allowing students opportunities to show their patriotism for this great country in an honorable and respectful fashion.
The statement did not address the school official’s attempt to ban students’ American flags on school grounds.
The efforts by school officials in Carrollton to ban the American flag from student vehicles comes as officials in other school districts are resisting calls by some parents to ban the Confederate battle flag on campus.
A black freshman at Stewarts Creek High School in Rutherford County, Tennessee recently “came home from school and told his mother that students were displaying the flag from their cars and wearing T-shirts with the symbol,” International Business Times reports.
The Confederate battle flag has been a lightning rod for liberal activists in recent months after a racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina over the summer. Because the alleged shooter liked to pose with the flag on Facebook, race baiters are calling on schools and municipalities across the country to remove all traces of the Old South, especially the Confederate battle flag.
In an apparent display of opposition to the movement, Stewarts Creek students have taken to wearing t-shirts with the flag, which they’re also flying from their vehicles at school.
The complaining mother told News 2 she “felt sad and hurt” when she picked her son up from school and witnessed the flags in the parking lot first hand.
“I just don’t think it should be in schools,” she said.
One of the flags on display when News 2 interviewed students was printed with the slogan “heritage, not hate,” but the mother still fears for her son’s safety.
“I don’t think it is the appropriate place for my child to be subjected to this,” she said.
Stewarts Creek school officials, however, are not willing to curb students’ First Amendment rights without a very good reason.
“As a school district, we can’t prohibit such items unless it is causing a disturbance at school,” Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans told the news site.