Hello, my name is Turner and I go to Camden Fairview Middle School in Camden, AR. My school officials have decided to ban the Confederate Flag. I do not in my right mind see the reasoning for this. Who have we offended? I have not worn a flag because I do not have one but I am very proud of the symbol it means. It infuriates me to know the symbol it has been known to become. The Confederate Flag is not a meaning of slavery or is to be known as the "Rebel Flag." It simply stands for being a proud member of the south. If you live in the south you should be proud or if not then you could consider moving.Many Native Americans fought for the Confederates in the Civil War. I am in the 8th grade and that is the first war that we learned in history this year. Did our school officials learn the right history? I would like to know. I have talked to many Native Americans at our school and MORE than half do not see the Confederate Flag as racist and most do not even know what it stands for. A white student in my school has been in the office every morning last week for wearing a flag on his clothing and his name is Tyler Manning. He has gained much respect from me, many others, and even from some teachers. On Friday, May 3rd, 2003, 7 students were suspended for wearing the flag. The school officials have stated that they do not want students wearing the Confederate Flag because it could take away from the learning. Banning the shirts has caused a greater ruckus then it ever has or ever done before. There have been many teachers, parents, and students that have asked officials to reconsider the decision they have made and I do not know the exact outcome of the situation yet. I know that I will stand up for what I believe in and will make sure MY VOICE IS HEARD. I will not disrespect my school officials any way by causing problems at school but I will do everything in my will to change this situation. I am friends with many people both Native American and Caucasian. So many people know I am anything but racist. The decision that was made is also testing our Constitutional rights of the First Amendment. People at my age that find this flag offending do not even understand why we wear it. The say it offends them because it stands for slavery. No, I am sorry but that is completely incorrect and I hope that some point in time they will understand the true and real meaning. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS! Can people not see that. Ancestors that many people have no knowledge of being theirs fought in the Civil War and should be proud to be of that blood. Also I thank God for being born in the United States and in the South. My school officials have heard many times of the history lessons of the Confederate Flag but I think they need to hear that it is apart of who people are in the south. I believe that we the students should have the privilege of wearing what we want as long as it is school policy and should be able to have the right to believing what we choose. As well, the parents are the people who are paying taxes for their children to get an education, politics are interfering with our lives an our beliefs. The united States is known for our FREEDOM and I feel that this certain decision is taking apart of that from me. When will controversy end? When will we be able to live? When will we be able to call ourselves Americans who believes in their country? We the United States was just at war, how would you feel if someone told you that you can’t wear and American Flag to school? That is saying we can not support our country, our soldiers fighting for our land and freedom, and that we can not keep our dignity. I would like people to see that I believe in my President, My country, My south, and My heritage. I would think that you do too. I ask my school officials another time and will over and over again until I am proved wrong for believing in what I do or the policy is changed.

Turner