Confederate flag banned at Independence High

By MITCHELL KLINE • Staff Writer • April 28, 2008

THOMPSON’S STATION — Students at Independence High School in Williamson County have been banned from wearing or carrying Confederate flags or other symbols that could lead to racial tension.

This action, taken by school officials on Friday, came after a student drove to school in a Red Ford Bronco with Confederate flags on the vehicle and a noose in the cab, according to Williamson County Schools spokeswoman Carol Birdsong. School administrators made several students who wore clothing with the Confederate battle flag to school today change into other shirts, Birdsong said. Advertisement

“There’s a fine line that schools have to walk in balancing First Amendment rights and free speech with school safety,” Birdsong said. “Once it crosses over to be a disruption, then the school takes over and students lose some of those free speech rights.”

About 80 students left early on Friday, after rumors of possible fighting began spreading through the school, Birdsong said. Capt. Alan Laney, who oversees school resource officers for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, said the student who brought Confederate flags and the noose to the parking lot was threatened by other students. School officials made him remove the flags and noose, Birdsong said. The student was “sent home,” Laney said.

Copyright © 2008 The Tennessean


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