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SLRC makes school hand over student’s transcripts

PENSACOLA, FL — This past spring, David Inglett paid dearly for expressing his Southern heritage pride within the walls of Wedgwood Middle School. Among other things, while wearing a Confederate-themed t-shirt he was seized in the cafeteria, made to leave his lunch and detained for several hours in the school’s offices, forbidden to use the restroom or call home. A few days later, when his mother and little sister came to school to pick up David’s history project (which had a Confederate theme) they were met, followed and intimidated by school security and administrative personnel. David’s mother, Angela Bannister, decided that Wedgwood was no place for her son, so when school started this year she enrolled him in nearby Jubilee Christian Academy.

But as the days went by, David’s old school did not forward copies of his report cards and other transcript material to Jubilee. These documents were necessary to complete David’s application for a scholarship at the academy, and his family became very anxious; David needed that scholarship. Officials at Wedgwood told Mrs. Bannister the materials had been sent. The Jubilee registrar’s office said they had not seen them.

At this point Ms. Bannister called the SLRC, which had been monitoring David’s situation since his troubles in the Spring. The SLRC’s Roger McCredie called Wedgwood Principal Larry Reid, who launched into a rambling discourse about transfer procedure and repeated that the documents had been sent. McCredie then called Jubilee’s registrar, who confirmed that they had never been received. McCredie then faxed a letter to Reid demanding that Wedgwood prepare a complete second set of materials and notify Jubilee staff to call for them in person that afternoon. The next morning Mrs. Bannister called to say that Wedgwood had complied and David’s paperwork was complete.

"We don’t know whether Wedgwood acted out of spite or was just careless," McCredie said, "and we didn’t care. We just wanted the school to do what it was supposed to do. I’m glad it worked out."

David’s family petitioned Wedgwood to remove the disciplinary action from his permanent record. The school refused. The family is now examining its legal options.


ASHLAND, KY — Jacqueline Duty’s lawsuit against the school officials who turned her senior prom into a nightmare of humiliation because of her Confederate-themed evening dress, entered a new phase in July with depositions of key witnesses.

On July 26, Jacqueline told her story in a deposition that ended up lasting all day. "I’ve never seen such a grueling deposition, or such a long one," SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons said, "but she did fine, as we knew she would."

On August 19, more witnesses were deposed, including the school officials who Jacqueline maintains prevented her from getting out of her car, banged on its hood, and surrounded her with security and law enforcement personnel. Lyons said he was both surprised and amused at the direction the defendants’ preliminary testimony took.

"It appears they’re going to use the ‘liar, liar, pants-on-fire’ defense," he said. They maintain absolutely none of it happened, that our side is either lying or hallucinating and Jacqueline was just put up to telling this huge story by a bunch of outside troublemakers. If they maintain that position, things should get very interesting."

The case is scheduled to be heard next February.

SC SCV, private donors pitch in to fund Hardwick case

LATTA, SC — The South Carolina Division of the SCV has agreed to underwrite up to $3,850 in legal expenses connected with preparing a suit against the Latta School Board in Dillon County, SC, on behalf of our clients Daryl and Priscilla Hardwick and their daughter, Candice.

Candice was subjected to "disciplinary action" last year for wearing a Confederate-themed t-shirt. Her parents twice attempted to reason with the school board by letter but the board replied essentially that there was nothing to discuss. At that point Candice, a beautiful and determined honor student, told her parents she would fight for her heritage. Her parents said they would support her. The South Carolina Order of the Confederate Rose have set up a legal defense fund for her and friends and neighbors have been selling homemade crafts to raise additional monies.

"This is truly a grassroots effort," said SLRC Executive Director Roger McCredie. "Everybody is supporting Candice." He added that thanks to these efforts the SLRC has been able to retain local counsel (a former school board attorney) to assist in administering the case. Additionally, though the South Carolina Division’s appropriation will be used to fund near-term future work, about $1,700 in time and costs has been incurred since December of 2004. Contributions to offset that amount may be made directly to the SLRC.


Ed. Note: On Tuesday, August 30, H.K. traveled to Maryville to stage a one-man flag vigil in a show of solidarity with the Maryville High students who ingeniously figured out ways to circumvent their school’s flag ban at their home football game the previous Friday. The spot he chose for his vigil was across from the school, on the sidewalk in front of New Providence Presbyterian Church. SLRC board member Dr. Neill Payne chronicles what happened next.

By Neill Payne

It looked like a great spot for a flag vigil, right across from Maryville High School in Maryville Tennessee. HK Edgerton had a front row seat to watch the students arriving for school at 7:45 am. The New Providence Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) had a nice parking lot that no one was using so HK put his chair out next to the street and began showing the flag. As usual the arriving students loved seeing him there. They were waiving, hollering and having a good time. But not everyone would be so happy to see HK that morning.

About 9:15 a man approached HK representing himself as the associate pastor of the church. He introduced himself as Steve Musick. HK offered his hand but Musick refused to shake it. Instead HK reports that Music said, "You have to get your ass off of our parking lot. We don’t want that racist flag or the controversy that surrounds it in front of our church."

HK told him that he was shocked that a man calling himself a pastor would use such abusive language like that. Musick said, "If you don’t get off our property, I will physically throw your ass off."

HK responded, "You call yourself a pastor? If I was going to leave, I’m not now. You’ve got your work cut out for you, because this is a public easement and I’ve got a First Amendment right to be here."

Musick said he didn’t care because they maintain that easement and have control over it. HK said, "You need to call the police because I’m not going to argue with you, I am offended by the fact that you call yourself a pastor and a Presbyterian minister and you are using such disgraceful language. What would those children think if they knew you were talking like that?"

(We attempted to contact Musick for his comments, but were unsuccessful.)

HK moved the van from the church parking lot and returned to his chair. The police arrived and told Musick that HK was right, but that for safety considerations due to the narrowness of the street and the fact that the buses were there picking up children that they would like HK to get a permit and perhaps consider another location. Because of their respectful manner HK complied. The police station was within walking distance and the Chief of Police saw that HK had a place for his vigil that even HK would not have been bold enough to ask for. The Chief gave him a permit and the most visible location, in the middle of a traffic island in the middle town. "Where," said HK, "I proceeded to receive a hero’s ovation. People were dropping off water and food. I had enough supplies to start a convenience store."

HK said, "Cars, trucks and fire engines were blowing their horns. Everybody, Black, White and indifferent, were waiving and hollering their support. I was wondering where was all the problem with the flag in Maryville." Only one man, who identified himself as a Yankee, flipped him off. HK, very helpfully, directed him to the nearest highway entrance ramp heading north.

A Maryville Sun Times reporter arrived about the same time that the police did. The reporter was impressed with the constant expressions of support for HK and the flag. The story ran today

[Wednesday} The local radio station, AM 1470 Truth Radio,came by to ask HK to be on their afternoon program

During the program, Kim Cantwell and Betty Ogle of Maryville called the radio station. They identified themselves as members of a group which works for racial reconciliation. They invited HK to dinner. HK was very impressed with the sincerity of these women, one of whom was a Black woman and the other a White woman. By the end of their meal they came to realise that there was a lot of history and facts about the Confederate flag, the South and the War that was not being taught. They aim to do something about it.

Ed. note: H. K. was invited to Sunday services at Ms. Ogle’s church, St. Paul’s AME Church, on Sunday, Sept. 4. He plans to attend, in uniform. St. Paul’s is located a few blocks away from New Providence Presbyterian, on the same street.