Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, WA suspended two 16-year-old boys for wearing Confederate flags to school. According to Seattle’s KIRO Channel 7, school officials said the boys were wearing the secessionist flags in protest of a classmate’s choice to wear a rainbow flag in celebration of LGBT Pride month.
One of the two students — known only a “Grady” — told KOMO that he was just wearing the rebel flag to honor his southern heritage.
“It’s just a way of showing our Southern pride, nothing racist at all,” the teenager insisted. “If he can wear his flag in support of what he believes, we figured we could do that as well.”
Many students at Tahoma High School reportedly emblazon the Confederate flag on their cars and trucks, but they have been ordered by the school not to wear the flag on school grounds. Grady and his friend arrived at school last Monday wearing the flags fastened around their necks like capes.
The teenager feels he is being unfairly deprived of his free speech rights.
Tahoma School District spokesperson Kevin Patterson told KOMO that other students and teachers complained about the Confederate flags, held by some to be a sign of racial subjugation and a tacit endorsement of segregation, if not slavery.
“There were complaints from students and staff, yes,” said Patterson.
The boys, both juniors, have been suspended until Monday, October 14.
Watch video about this story, embedded below via KIRO Channel 7: