Lakeville school district asked to ban Confederate flag

2 vehicles found with Confederate symbol displayed

By Maricella Miranda
mmiranda@pioneerpress.com

Updated: 04/30/2009

Two Lakeville South High School students displaying the Confederate flag on their vehicles prompted a handful of students, teachers and parents this week to ask for a districtwide policy banning the flag from school grounds.

"As a 20-year employee, I’ve witnessed Confederate flags displayed on vehicles for many years," Lakeville South teacher Jay Scovil said Tuesday. "It’s sad the actions of just a few people can define a community. It’s time for our district to address this issue."

School administrators learned that a male student had a Confederate flag decal across the back window of his pickup truck after a teacher complained April 20, Lakeville South principal Scott Douglas said. The student told administrators it was a gift, representing "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "good times."

The student also said he would park his vehicle across the street from the school, which he has done.

On Monday, a second male student began draping a Confederate flag across the dashboard of his vehicle. Administrators forced that student to remove the flag.

School officials did not name the students, who were not punished for their actions.

"We felt that the whole issue of the Confederate flag was an educational opportunity," Douglas said. "This is the fourth year that Lakeville South has been open. We want to continue to have a safe environment. I feel we still have that."

On Tuesday, the Lakeville school board received a petition signed by 50 high school teachers from Lakeville North and South asking the district to adopt the policy banning Confederate flags from school grounds.

The school district followed the law when investigating the incidents, said Tony Massaros, director of administrative services for Lakeville schools. He did not say whether the district would ban the flag.

"This is not a simple issue," Massaros said. "It brings out strong feelings on both sides."

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