Tensions Rise At School Following Confederate Flag Controversy

The display of a confederate flag by students in a southern school has led to growing tensions as some protesters have been suspended.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Tension and unrest is brewing at a high school in Georgia after a confederate flag was videotaped being waved by students around school grounds earlier this week. But there’s much more to the story than that. To this day, racism fuels a major wedge in not only politics but school districts across the nation as well. Now, this Georgia school district is being sued by a group of students and parents, for allegations it has charged the divide in school, as school leaders suspended some students for planning a protest against the actions recorded earlier this week.

Fox 5 Atlanta shared video footage that a student at Coosa High near Rome, Georgia shot earlier this week on campus. The video shows a group of students waving the confederate flag around school property. Often touted as a symbol of racism, this flag is linked to the Civil War, as a symbol of the south. To others, especially southerners, it is a symbol of historic pride and opposition to liberalism.

The video made its rounds on social media, as did similar messages of hate and racism that have been said to have occurred at the school in recent times. Stirring up plenty of emotions, a group of Black students were reportedly planning a silent protest on school grounds this Friday following the confederate flag incident. The organizers said they had planned to wear Black Lives Matter shirts. Since the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has been gaining traction across the U.S. Supporters see it as a way to bring attention to the continuing pattern of racially driven violent crimes popping up across the country. Opposers see it as a threat to Democracy, claiming the movement’s founders and leaders are trained Marxists

According to reports from The Associated Press, the group of students planning to protest the confederate flag were suspended because of their plans. This is said to be because school officials warned the students they were not allowed to hold their silent protest. The school also cited policy, which says that Black Lives Matter apparel is banned from the campus. Furthermore, school administrators said the protest would cause disruptions. For context, the school’s policy does allow the display of the confederate flag symbol on apparel.

The lawsuit that is being filed on behalf of  the students accuses the school district and its board members of allowing a systemic pattern of racism including “overt bigotry and animosity by some White students and teachers against African American students.” Some of the examples given in the lawsuit include an incident at the school in which white students had reenacted the murder of George Floyd, and another where a student was seen carrying a whip around school, heckling Black students saying “we used to whip you.” These were all things said to have occurred at the school since the recent turning point over the confederate flag.

School officials announced that they will have increased police presence on campus this Friday, along with additional staffing on hand out of fears of protest and possible violence. Furthermore, the school had made note earlier this week that they were investigating the claims of the social media footage depicting the confederate flag being waved around campus. What the exact intentions were of the students earlier this week may never be known, but like much else happening around the nation right now, it’s a growing pattern of agitation occurring on school grounds as well.