On Tuesday, a few students at a Maryland high school were instructed to remove clothing that featured the Confederate flag, as the administration claimed the insignia would be “disruptive” to the students.
The students at the school were celebrating Spirit Week, which stipulates that students don clothing with the theme for that particular day. Tuesday was USA Day, which entailed wearing red, white and blue.
District spokesman Michael Doerrer said at least two students wore clothing with the Confederate symbol on Tuesday; another student brought a Confederate flag.
Although Frederick County Public Schools does not have an explicit policy banning the Confederate flag, Doerrer asserted, “It could be that an administrator gets a feeling that it will create tension in the building or disrupt the school environment. It’s really about administrators knowing their students and what might cause an interruption.”
The FCPS dress code forbids students from wearing clothing or items advocating subjects that are gang-related, violent, illegal, libelous, or sexually explicit, which would not affect the use of the Confederate flag, but the code also states that any clothing that contains derogatory language or images disparaging an individual’s “race, color, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability” can be banned.
Brunswick High Principal Nancy Doll stated that displaying the Confederate flag “is viewed as interfering with school order …We talked with three students who cooperatively and respectfully changed their apparel. This is a comfortable, welcoming and safe place for all. This is a great week to show school spirit and a majority of our students participate with positive enthusiasm.”
In September, roughly 20 students at Christiansburg High School in Virginia refused to remove clothing featuring the Confederate flag and were sent home. The same month, a white 10th grader at Rockmart High School in Georgia was accosted by two black students after bringing a backpack with a Confederate flag to school. All three students were suspended.