A Tennessee school district has banned students from bringing American flags to campus because it doesn’t want to take a chance on students bringing any flags that could be seen as offensive by others.
If students violate the flag ban, they’ll be kicked out of school, students told WHBQ-TV.
The Dickson County School District’s decision came after a summer of heated debate over the Confederate flag and its removal from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, after authorities say a white supremacist went on a shooting rampage at a historically black church in Charleston. The controversial banner was also removed from the Alabama state Capitol grounds.
The American flag just outside the entrance to the district’s schools will stay, but students who wish to express themselves more personally won’t be able to.
“I just think that’s a right. It’s freedom of expression and I don’t think you should be able to take that away from us,” student Arianna Heisler said. “If you want to fly a Confederate flag and if you want to fly a rainbow flag, fly a rainbow flag. Whatever you want.”
School officials, who say they haven’t had any issues with the policy so far, said there are a number of ways by which students can still express themselves.
“While this was not necessarily an attack on the American flag, there were some other issues we’re trying to address,” said Steve Sorrells, Dickson County director of student services. “It’s not an unpatriotic act by any means because we have a number of ways in which students do learn how to be patriotic and express American pride.”
School officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.