Oregon School District Bans Confederate Flag

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Connor Moldo Contributor
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Protesters gathered outside North Bend High on Monday to voice their displeasure over a new policy that bars the Confederate flag from school property, according to an Associated Press report.

North Bend Superintendent Bill Yester says a dispute ensued between two girls, one of whom was sporting a hat with the Confederate logo, compelling the North Bend School District to pass this measure. At this time, none of the students involved in the matter have been punished for their actions.

Protesters were riled because they feel this policy directly restricts students’ First Amendment rights, but Yester was quick to rebut their argument. Yester believes the district was justified in its approach, making the case that the district must take the actions necessary to “maintain an environment free of harassment.”

Yester went on to say, “If it is a disruption, we can ban it. We believe that everybody is equal and anything that interrupts education, a Confederate flag or something else, just can’t be at the school,” according to The World newspaper of Coos Bay.

“We’re protesting against the school for taking our First Amendment rights away, our freedom of speech and expression,” protester Trenton Smith countered.

Students participating in the demonstration were predominantly freshman and sophomores. Vice principal Jake Smith mentioned that the history of the Civil War is not a part of the school’s curriculum until junior year.

There were reports that the school district had also banned the American flag, but those rumors were quickly shut down.