Local News

Confederate Flag Fans Controversy At Lee County School

Posted January 17, 2006 7:10 a.m. EST

— At most school buildings, the American flag and the North Carolina flag wave proudly. But on Thursday morning, ROTC students at Southern Lee High School found something very unusual atop this flag pole -- a Confederate flag.

"This particular event brought conversation immediately to the campus of Southern Lee High School," said Lee County School Superintendent Jim McCormick.

Lee County schools do not allow any confederate symbols to be displayed on school property, including on students' clothing.

"It's not directed at the artifact itself, it's directed at the disruption of the educational process," said McCormick.

Even though no one knows who raised the flag or why, the act is being taken very seriously with 50 percent of students in the county being minorities.

Principal Hans Lassiter, who is black, was quoted in The Sanford Herald as saying he was "furious" and "felt violated, compromised" and "targeted."

Some Sanford residents are also concerned about the potential message the incident sends.

"I was very disappointed," said Lee County resident Rick Hager. "I think it's the kind of thing that hurts the image of the community. It's certainly not what people, I believe, stand for here."

McCormick said the flag is not something that Lee County schools will stand for either. McCormick said authorities are still investigating the incident, but they realize there is a good chance they may never know who raised the flag.