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Confederate Flag earns suspension from graduation

by C1ay / June 4, 2008 10:05 PM PDT

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...

Officials asked the students to remove the flags. Eventually, all three students were suspended for three days -- which, in this case, included graduation.

Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke or offend other students...


I've got news for those school officials. There are people in this country that are offended by the U.S. Flag too and there is no right to not be offended in this country. Me thinks perhaps these school officials should try out a 3 day suspension without pay. What do you think?

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I agree with the school.
by critic411 / June 4, 2008 10:12 PM PDT

It would be a distraction to the "learning" process there. Next time, they should just wear it as a scarf. That couldn't offend anyone.

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School was right.
by Angeline Booher / June 5, 2008 4:44 AM PDT
"It's just us showing we have our own style and we aren't going to conform to whatever anyone else thinks."

Well, I've got news for you, son. Because of a what I think was a bad decision in the past, you are probably 18 years old, or nearly so, thus considered legally an adult. Unfortunately, Momma and Poppa no longer will be responsible for making decisions for you (I doubt if they have for some time) or supporting you. That means your choice of employment must pay enough for lodging, food, clothing, auto payments, insurance, clothing, date money, entertainment, etc.I think decent jobs would require respect for authority. Or you will sponge off Momma and Poppa as long as possible.

That might be your best bet because you are not yet ready to enter society on an adult level. You have not yet earned that , like it or not, you must respect authority. The school was reasonable in what it asked.

Those who wanting to join the military will learn that lesson. They will understand that it is more than a show of power, but also motivates, bonds, and empowers.

Speakeasy Moderator
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Considering that the Supreme Court ...
by Edward ODaniel / June 5, 2008 5:07 AM PDT

decided that burning the American Flag is "free speech", the school is violating the civil rights of the students by denying them their "free speech".

As you indicate, the Constitution allows for the pursuit of happiness, it DOES NOT guarantee it. So what if some students or faculty are possibly "offended"?

I wonder if the same school prevents certain students from wearing daishikis or others the Kirpan or some the keffiyeh? All are not only commercially available articles that appeal to some but have negative and "offensive" connotations for others.

I saw a member of the California Congressional delegation proudly wearing a version of the keffiyeh in the House of Representatives while making her "statement" and her statement and article of clothing was offensive to many of us but she is allowed to wear it. Pelosi herself has worn one several times.

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I wonder if...
by J. Vega / June 5, 2008 8:18 AM PDT

I wonder about something. If two students had had what is called the "Christian Flag", would they have received the same penalty?

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Native traditional dress ...
by Angeline Booher / June 5, 2008 8:48 AM PDT

..... is not comparable, nor applicable to the story at hand.

What these students did was defy authority. Two of them who plan to join the military will learn why what they did was wrong.

Nor is the House of Representatives to a local high school.

Nor is working Speaker Pelosi into the mix. There are some things in this world that do not have to be political.

Speakeasy Moderator

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The fact remains....
by C1ay / June 5, 2008 10:56 PM PDT

The school said they were punish because what they did could offend others. Should all items that some people are offended by be prohibited?

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I can stand corrected...
by Angeline Booher / June 6, 2008 12:10 AM PDT
In reply to: The fact remains....

..... but I THINK there have been suits in more than one court that the the battle flag was offensive to some. I personally did not agree with those decisions. I do not agree that viewing it should be any more offensive than viewing the Union Jack, which is not offensive in the least.

It was because of the past lawsuits and decisions that the students were asked to remove them.

This is 2008, this is a society just looking for any excuse to make waves, and schools and school boards are always prime targets,

Speakeasy Moderator

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As I'm sure you well know, Ed....
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / June 5, 2008 11:30 PM PDT

there are numerous SCOTUS decisions stating that students' freedom of speech rights are severely limited. AT least two of those decisions specifically deal with dress codes, and at least one with restrictions on freedom of the press for school newspapers.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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by James Denison / June 6, 2008 12:17 AM PDT

Can we make them all wear beanie caps? With propellers? Heck, they can't even keep the girls from showing their navels in schools, butts hanging out of gym shorts in school sports. Less than 50 years ago, the way some high school girls dress today would have signaled they were prostitutes. Considering how many more get pregnant now than then, maybe they are. Should we thank God that's not "offensive" to the school officials?

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Just to be fair though....
by C1ay / June 6, 2008 12:35 AM PDT

Some students of foreign origin are offended by the U.S. flag as well. Should it also be barred from display? How about swastika stickers on the bumpers of student cars? That wouldn't violate any dress codes. Just where is the line between offensive and offensive (dupe intended)?

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Interesting that you mention "dress code" ...
by Edward ODaniel / June 6, 2008 8:27 AM PDT

as it wasn't even mentioned remotely as the reason for the school's action.

You should familiarize yourself, especially as a supposed "educator", exactly how any of the court decisions limited the student's "free speech" rights as the decisions are very narrow indeed while court decisions finding for the students are far broader in scope.

While you do familiarize yourself with the decisions and see why you just "removed all doubt" with your statement, you should broaden your education by discovering what several decisions have been with regard to the rights of tax payers as far as schools and school administration goes - wonder if any of those students have paid any city, state, or federal taxes any portion of which was spent on schools...

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Freedom of the press.....this sounds proper
by Steven Haninger / June 6, 2008 9:57 AM PDT

I'd think the law would mean the government cannot control what an owner/publisher may or may not print. I'd think the owner/publisher can control what's acceptable by its contributors. I'd think that, just because most educational institutions receive some government moneys, it's not implied that the government has become the de facto owner/publisher of a school's newspaper.

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Mischief and not a message
by Steven Haninger / June 5, 2008 11:03 AM PDT

High school kids from Minnesota emulating the Dukes? who were also kids full of mischief. It's doubtful they really learned much about the US civil war in HS and doubtful anyone in Minnesota would raise an eyebrow over this flag..so it doubtful any public disturbance would arise from it. Personally, I don't see the flag of the confederacy as a racist symbol such as that of the KKK. It's one of rebellion and rebellion has long been a part of growing up. It's still up to the school to have standards and not allow kids to run amok. Unfortunately, HS seniors are known to do such. I can understand and agree if school officials feel a need to be especially vigilant at this time and even overreact at times. It's perfectly justifiable based on past experiences, IMO.

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The solution is simple
by James Denison / June 5, 2008 2:37 PM PDT

Have American white history month in march just after American black history month in February. The month can be divided into northern white history one half and southern white history the second half. That way everyone can be pleased or offended to the same degree each school year. It's just heritage.

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by mariakom / June 17, 2008 10:43 PM PDT

Students always were a voice of freedom! And always, at all times there was an opposition the student - authority. But students grow, go to work, marry, and all free ideas where that disappear. And it is a pity.

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