CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – More than 20 high school students in Virginia were punished after they wore clothing with the Confederate Flag on it.
Montgomery County Public Schools told WSLS that 25 students came to class on Thursday wearing the flag, which is a violation of the school’s dress code.
Officials say the students were given the chance to comply with the policy, but refused.
After refusing to follow the rules, school leaders say they were given one day of in school suspension.
The students say they wore the flag in protest of the new policy.
“They’re trying to get rid of it, and they’re not trying to get rid of any other flags,” said Forrest Taylor. “They say that it’s a racist thing even though it’s not.”
However, school leaders say it isn’t American history that inspired the dress code policy change.
Instead, they say it is simply related to a history of violence at the school.
The Confederate Flag was banned inside the school after fights broke out in the early 2000s.
“It was a year’s worth of fights that occurred from 2001 to 2002. The fights were racially charged and racially motivated, and the Confederate flag was used as a symbol of intimidation in that specific case,” Brenda Drake, the schools’ spokesperson, told WSLS.
In 2015, the policy was expanded to include the parking lot, essentially banning the Confederate Flag from being visible on cars in the parking lot.
Officials say students must agree to the policy before they can receive a parking pass.