School Considers Ban On Confederate Flag Clothing

Some Say Confederate Clothing Caused Racial Tension At High School
Jade Hindmon reporting
May 13, 2008

PENDLETON, S.C. — Administrators at Pendleton High School said Monday night that clothing that had the Confederate flag printed on it caused racial tension at the school during Black History Month.

Officials said some students decided to wear the rebel flag during the African-American-focused month.

“There were some situations where there were some racial tensions,” said Joanne Avery, assistant superintendent. “I think a recommendation came out to where this may minimize that tension.”

However, efforts to ban the apparel were thrown out by the district’s superintendent, Gary Burgess. He said there just is not enough reason to ban the flag.

“Well there hadn’t been any specific event at the high school where racial tension was based on the attire,” Avery said.

Gloria Plotnick, who attended Monday night’s meeting and is a member of the Anderson County NAACP, said she has been trying to get the Confederate flag out of the classroom ever since she was a student at the school.

“It’s a symbol of hatred and oppression,” Plotnick said. “Would you allow your child to wear a Swastika to school? It means the same thing and to a lot of people it means the same thing.”

Not everyone at the meeting shared Plotnick’s opinion.

“It’s part of history and it’s how they kept the north and south separate,” said Debbie Ferner, a parent of a student at the school. “It’s not about black or white or whatever.”

Plotnick said the issue over the Confederate flag will not go away anytime soon.

“For us to 35 years later be dealing with the same thing is just disgraceful,” Plotnick said.

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