Local News

Efland students march to ban confederate flag

Posted May 22

— Kids and their parents marched to Gravelly Hill Middle School in Efland on Monday with a demand they have been making for months -- ban the confederate battle flag from schools.

"I've seen this flag displaced around my school since I began," said Edward, a student, to school board members. "Every encounter with the Confederate flag has reminded me that I am not safe, and in particular at school, feel outnumbered."

Stories like Edward's moved Latarndra Strong to create the Hate-Free School Coalition. She said the confederate flag, on shirts, hats and vehicles is intimidating for some students.

"There is violence and marginalization attached," Strong said.

March to ban confederate flag

Strong says, while some may peacefully display the confederate flag, she still believes it needs to be banned in the school system.

"The problem is, when you are a student, you don't know whether the person is a flag waver because of southern roots, or a flag waver because of something deeper and darker," she said.

After months of making the case, some parents want action.

"You have failed to speak up on behalf of students of color," one parent said.

For the moment, school board members have plans to investigate their options. The school board has a work session planned for May 31.

They said they will look at potential revisions to the school dress code and hear from legal experts on the subject.


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  • Henry Cooper May 25, 9:03 a.m.
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    So many are just misinformed that think freedom of speech means you can say anything / anywhere and it just does not.

    All the way back to 1913 there have been limits put on public speech. Most folks are also familiar with the fact it is crime to yell fire in a movie theater but that is just part of the limitations people know.

    Look up Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire or New York v. Ferber.

    There is the "Clear and Present Danger" limitations (it has nothing to do with the Harrison Ford movie). There is something limiting sexual activity speech near children, if not the pedophiles would be everywhere harassing kids in public parks and malls. There was even a law preventing draft age men from disparaging the draft before WWI.

  • Jeremy Figtree May 25, 5:21 a.m.
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    Some of the comments here trouble me.
    First off, in this country, we have the right to free speech. True, free speech is not limited. The type of speech that is limited is:
    fighting words (threats)
    and something that poses a "clear and present danger."
    The Confederate flag does none of those.

    Also, who is to say what a flag stands for? It can mean racism, yes. It can also be a sign of something that is only Southern. It could also mean a sign of rebellion, not going with the flow of things. It could also honor one's ancestors who fought for that flag.

    There's also Supreme Court precedent to protect it being in schools. Look at Tinker v Des Moines -- students wore black armbands as symbolic speech -- this was upheld. Also, in Texas v Johnson it was said that the government cannot "prescribe a set of approved messages to be associated with that symbol."

    I may not fly this flag, but as Americans, we should support others' free speech.

  • Nicolle Leney May 23, 7:16 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    No one is saying that slavery was the ONLY reason for the Civil War. But to say it wasn’t the MAIN reason the Southern states seceded is just ignoring history.

    For a war that wasn’t supposed to be about slavery, the declarations of secession seem to mention it an awful lot...

    Or the “Cornerstone Speech” by Alexander Stephens (VP of the Confederacy). He said “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery--subordination to the superior race--is his natural and normal condition.” He notes [i]“This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolut

  • Nicolle Leney May 23, 6:44 p.m.
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    The "Confederate flag" as most people know it was never actually _THE_ flag of the Confederacy. It was a BATTLE flag. The first flag was nothing like it. The second version was a square version of that battle flag on a much larger white background. Why white? The reason most people would expect, as a few people have mentioned. You can read the history here. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-white-mans-flag

  • James Dodson May 23, 6:17 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


  • James Dodson May 23, 6:15 p.m.
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    Well bless your hearts!!!!! Someone was triggered!!!

  • Kenneth Jones May 23, 4:15 p.m.
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    This is the majority being controlled by the minority...

  • Henry Cooper May 23, 2:37 p.m.
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    This weekend I am proud to be American.

    OO-Rah for the guys and gals deployed!!!!

    WRAL can we get a Memorial day "feel good" article so we can stop beating this poor dead asz horse. The dang glue factory wouldn't even take it at this point.

  • Coy McElheney May 23, 2:21 p.m.
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    I am white and always will be proud, just as every other race should be proud .

  • Kelly Paris May 23, 2:00 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I'm a southerner but have lived in Boston for a total of 15 years. Racism has existed there as well. For a long time black people were not allowed into bars and clubs as white people. Black musicians and singers could entertain there, but not be allowed in as guests. One such jazz bar, Wally's, was a black owned club that allowed both blacks and whites in. It opened because blacks were not welcome elsewhere. Miles Davis was beaten by a white police officer for standing outside the venue where he was to perform smoking a cigarette. He tried to explain to this NYC officer that he was there to perform. It was through a jazz documentary that I came to realize that racism exists just as much as elsewhere as the south. Slaves were freed in the south, but when they moved north they weren't much better off which makes you wonder why the war was even fought. Black communities are by and large still poor. They didn't make the money that whites made.