Confederate Flag Story Disputed by School District
Reports that a Hamilton high school student was suspended for displaying a Confederate flag on his pickup truck are being disputed by the district's superintendent.
Steinert High School Student Gregory Vied, 17, told News 12 New Jersey he was suspended by a vice principal for refusing his order to take the symbol off his truck.
"Them trying to make me take it down, is unconstitutional," said Vied. He said he is aware of what the Confederate flag represents to many but sees it as a symbol of pride in his family southern roots.
"Under State and Federal law, we are required to protect the privacy of our students. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to refute inaccuracies reported by the press," school superintendent James Parla wrote in a letter sent home to parents and posted on the district's website. "In this context, please know that no student at Steinert High School was suspended for displaying a confederate flag, nor any display of anything for that matter."
Parla stated he hoped to use the incident as a "teachable moment" to show how the constitutional rights of students are protected "regardless of how unpopular and as divisive certain ideas may be."
A number of students displayed similar flags in support of Vied, a National Honor Society student, according to the Trentonian, without incident. The newspaper reports the American Civil Liberties Union sent the school a letter informing officials that students have the right to express themselves on school property.
- Confederate flag flown on student's pickup truck causes flap at Steinert High School / News 12 New Jersey
- Steinert High student not suspended for Confederate flag, Hamilton superintendent says / Times of Trenton
- Hamilton superintendent: Student was not suspended for Confederate flag / The Trentonian