With a Rebel yell-- The saga continues....
Well, looks like as long as there's a trial lawyer out there somewhere, there's always going to be plenty of entertainment to be had:
A Farmington High School freshman suspended from school in September for wearing a Confederate flag cap and T-shirts to school sued the school district and school officials in federal court in St. Louis Tuesday, alleging the school district policy is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
According to the lawsuit, a coach or teacher took student Bryce Archambo's baseball cap away on Sept. 27. The cap bore a Confederate flag and the words "C.S.A. Rebel Pride, 1861." An assistant superintendent spoke with Archambo's father and told him that his son was prohibited from wearing anything with a Confederate flag "due to the alleged inherent racism that such insignia sends."
The next day, Bryce wore a T-shirt and belt buckle bearing the flag and the words "Dixie Classics" and was suspended. Bryce's mother then pulled him from school.
Bryce told the [St. Louis] Post-Dispatch after the incident that his father had called the school and told the administrator that his son had the right to wear the Confederate clothing. It was a symbol of his family's ancestry and not racist, he said.
The suit says the district's policy violates state law that bars prohibitions against emblems or clothing that are not disruptive. The suit asks a judge to bar the school from enforcing that policy, re-admit Bryce and remove any disciplinary record of the incident.
One of my students brought up this story, and it created quite a good discussion. Some of my kids discussed how they would feel if they saw someone walking down the hallways wearing a swastika, even if they had a perfect right based on their "ancestry" to wear it. Many other students talked about what kind of atmosphere would be created if the school were to allow such displays.
We then had a great discussion about flag- and cross-burning, the recent legal precedents on these issues, and what "symbolic speech" means. It was fascinating for many of them to realize that you can "speak" without ever opening your mouth. Now there's an idea that could use a bit of mulling over.
The point is, some words and symbols have become too polluted to be redeemed in the near future. The ink was barely dry on Lee's surrender at Appomattox before the Confederate battle flag was being appropriated as a symbol of nightriding racial intimidation and I believe there is a reason why many people feel it still communicates those values.