The federal government plans to investigate an Arizona high school over a “Redneck Day” celebration two months ago that was inspired by the popular Duck Dynasty television show on A&E.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the investigation will be “limited to whether a racially hostile environment was created due to language and actions that were not protected by the First Amendment.”
As Fox News notes, students at Queens Creek High School on May 1 were encouraged to “dress like members of the reality show cast, but instead it was seen as offensive when students arrived at the school in stereotypical clothing.”
Civil rights activists pointed to one student who was pulled aside and asked to change his Confederate flag attire as a sign that the day created a “racially hostile” environment. The DOE’s office of Civil Rights said, “the display of the Confederate flag concerns rights protected by the First Amendment.”
Rev. Jarrett Maupin told the Associated Press that the Department of Education will “determine the remedy, including moderating conversations between school administrators and civil rights community leaders to shape new policy and racism prevention measures.”
Tom Lindsey, the superintendent of the Queen Creek Unified School District, said the day’s events were meant to satirize Duck Dynasty, boost school spirit, and insisted there was “no ill intent.” He apologized to people who may have been offended by the word “redneck.”