Bloomington students suspended after waving Confederate flags at school

By John Brewer

Three seniors at Bloomington’s Kennedy High School have been suspended — and will miss their graduation ceremony tonight — after waving Confederate flags in the school parking lot Tuesday morning.

The mother of one of the three boys suspended said that the trio — fans of engines, pick-up trucks and the Dukes of Hazzard — didn’t realize the racist message the flags could convey.

The boys were suspended and barred from any school activities, including tonight’s ceremony, because their flag waving violated the school’s code of conduct policies. Administration officials said the flag could have disrupted the educational process at the school.

"The Confederate flag is seen as a symbol of hatred and bigotry and racism," Rick Kaufman, district spokesman, said.

Kaufman said that the school has had issues with the flag in the past and makes an effort each year to educate students about the offensiveness of the stars and bars. He said one of the boys involved in the latest incident was suspended in the past year for the same reason.

The three will still receive their diplomas.

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