The school committee of Easthampton, Massachusetts voted Tuesday night to ban the Confederate flag, unless it’s part of a history lesson.
Last week, a student wore a Confederate flag sweatshirt to school. On Monday, students and parents peacefully protested outside the high school about the incident.
22News asked Northampton Attorney James Winston if the ban violates a student’s First Amendment rights. He says the school is allowed to ban certain items from campus if they cause a disruption or physical violence.
“If it’s protected, it’s going to be protected, and if it rises to the level of causing, or may cause some disruption, then the school can step in,” Winston said.
Winston says this rule also applies to any graphics or slogans a school may find disruptive.
This is completely idiocy. Regardless of how you feel regarding the Confederate flag, it’s ties to historical significance or “southern heritage”, this is a school district that is banning the freedom of expression of a student, plain and simple.
Instead of banning an image on a sweatshirt, teach students to ignore ideas or images they don’t like. Winston likens the student’s sweatshirt with a Confederate flag to physical violence, a gross overstatement for an attorney to make. This is another example of liberal states, cities, and schools conflating ideas or first amendment expression with physical violence. I can’t recall an instance of anyone’s sweatshirt committing acts of violence, can you? It is a slippery slope, as seen on campuses where even the American flag is banned as seen in Tennessee and South Carolina.
WWLP.com did a poll on it’s story, and citizens seem to agree. School districts should not be able to ban the use or wearing of a Confederate flag:
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