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Hastings students asked to take down their Confederate flags

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HASTINGS, Mich. - Some students at Hastings High School are upset after school officials requested they remove all Confederate flags from school property.

Officials say the request comes from concerned community members, but students say their rights are being restricted.

Dr. Carrie Duits, Superintendent of Hastings schools tells us that students do have rights of expression, but material cannot be displayed if it intends to be insulting or harassing.  That is one reason the school district is asking student to remove the flags.

"Some students sharing that the flag represents intimidation, so we're just trying to make sure our school environment isn't disrupted by the confederate flag," Duits said.

Thursday afternoon, school officials asked students displaying the Confederate flag to put them away during school hours and at school events.

"All they asked was that people during school hours and basically on school property have your flags down off your vehicle and that's mainly all it was," said Shannon Mead, a high school senior.

Officials say that several parents and students have voiced concerns about others flying the flag.  We are told that the principal sat down with students who had the flag flying and respectfully asked that they be removed.

A student FOX 17 talked to Friday said he and about 15 others took their flags down, but only until the school bell rang.

Superintendent Duits says that she hopes the request prevents disruptions and this helps students understand what the flag represents to others and how it is perceived by others.  She also found this to be a teachable moment.

"We're hoping our students will understand how this flag represents different things to different people," Duits said.

The school board does meets next Monday night at 7 p.m. if you want to voice your opinion in the matter.

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36 comments

  • Kevin Rahe

    Perfectly healthy and innocent babies are being torn from the womb and their parts sold for profit, but what offends us is some stars and bars.

  • Ron Kramer

    Looks to me like a student exercising his America freedom of speech. It’s not harassing anyone but himself because well – that’s the LOOSING FLAG. I saw leave them alone – HOWEVER minors do not have the same rights as adults. I say there are more important things. Let him enjoy his flag(s)

  • Rose

    Unbelievable! My kids grew up watching Dukes of Hazzard and we NEVER associated the confederate flag with racism or bigotry. Some of my kids’ best friends were black or African American and watched it right along with them and were not offended by it. If we take away everything that potentially offends someone, we’ll soon have nothing left. And by the way, the South may have lost the war, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be treated with respect, and their flag is an important part of the history of our country.

    • Marshell Carnage

      The white supremacist who designed the Confederacy’s flag(s), one William T. Thompson, gave the definitive reason why every Republican, KKK member, and so-called Southern heritage advocate still supports flying that symbol of treason and racism. Thompson was proud to admit that “As a people we are fighting to maintain the heavenly ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause. Such a flag would be a suitable emblem of our young confederacy, and sustained by the brave hearts and strong arms of the south, it would soon take rank among the proudest ensigns of the nations, and be hailed by the civilized world as THE WHITE MAN’S FLAG.”

      • Rose

        Why are you classing the Republicans with the KKK? Just curious because Lincoln was a Republican, and we all know who the big Democrat KKK member was who served in Congress for years.

        • Marshell Carnage

          The parties switched ideologies beginning in the late 1940s as the Dixiecrats infiltrated the Republican party. I’m actually a conservative on most issues. I don’t believe most reasonable people would suggest that in 2015 that most people that support Confederate symbols are Democrats. Most Blacks are Democrats, there are a few exceptions, but very few support the Confederacy.

          • Commonsense

            Prove you statement. The south has large numberss of democrats. Robert Bird was the leader of tke KKK and a democrat elected over and over again to congress and not one democrat asked for his resignation.

      • Truth

        He also quoted scriptures from the bible substantiating his claim that whites are better. So why haven’t we banned the bible? That thing has more hate spewing from it than the flag ever did.

      • BorderRuffian

        “The white supremacist who designed the Confederacy’s flag(s), one William T. Thompson”
        William T. Thompson did not design any Confederate flag.

  • Amber harshbarger

    I just wanted to say we didn’t get asked to take our flags down at school, we got demanded to or we got kicked out of school.