Student Refuses School’s Order to Remove American Flags from Truck, Switches to Homeschooling

Virginia High School student's truck with flags_1 (1)
Christopher Hartless Facebook

A Virginia teen said his First Amendment rights are being violated after school officials told him to remove the two American flags mounted on his red Toyota Tacoma truck.

Staunton River High School officials told senior Christopher Hartless that the patriotic display was a distraction to other drivers and a safety concern, WSET reported.

“I don’t understand how it’s a distraction if they have one on the flagpole that every other student can see,” Hartless told the news outlet.

His parking pass was revoked. His stepmother, Christina Kingery, said she didn’t want him to take the bus, so his family took him out of the high school and is homeschooling him.

Officials from the high school’s Bedford County school district in  released a statement noting that flying flags on vehicles is against “the student parking contract” that Hartless apparently signed, “which has been used by all 3 of our high schools for many years.”

The school district released a statement regarding the incident to parents regarding the school district’s code of conduct rules:

The BCPS Code of Student Conduct prohibits “Attire that has language or images that are offensive, profane, vulgar, discriminatory, or racially/culturally divisive. This would include confederate flags, swastikas, KKK references, or any other images that might reasonably be considered hurtful or intimidating to others.” It does not include wearing clothing with American flag logos or prints on attire. This attire is allowed.

The statement also noted to parents that the Pledge of Allegiance is recited every morning.

“Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature. Please be assured that we proudly fly the American flag throughout the school,” the statement read.

Hartless has Kingery’s full support.

“I think that every student [–] doesn’t matter what you believe in, what flag you fly, as long as it’s not harmful and it doesn’t disgrace our country, you have the right to fly it,” Kingery said.

In May, Breitbart News reported that a Massachusetts middle schooler filed a lawsuit against his school claiming his First Amendment rights were violated after he was told to remove a shirt which had the phrase “There are only two genders” on it.


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