02/03/04 — Confederate T-shirts

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Confederate T-shirts

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 3, 2004 2:03 PM

Three Southern Wayne High School juniors appeared before the school board Monday night to voice their concerns over the Confederate flag on clothing being banned.

One of the three received a three-day suspension last month after refusing a request not to wear a T-shirt with the emblem on it.

One student, Terry Miller, said the flag was part of his heritage and asked that the board allow the students to wear them.

"We're here because we really care about the historical part of our country and our state," he said. "We love our country."

Student Joseph Johnson said the school system's dress code was too broad.

"It gives any principal the right to violate a student's rights," he said.

Citing the argument that his family did not have a lot of money, Johnson said that, like many youth in public school, he did not have the budget to buy more clothes.

"If the policy does not change soon, I will have to seek education elsewhere," he said.

Josh Keating, the student suspended because of the policy, said the dress code is "banning a historical flag" and that he felt their First Amendment rights had been violated.

"I have never looked at a Confederate flag as a racist symbol," he said.

The school board did not respond to the comments during the meeting.