It has the words "redneck" emblazoned across it. And its owner, school bus driver Ken Webber, displays it proudly on his personal pick-up truck. It's a symbol of states' rights, he says. What is "it," you ask? The confederate flag, of course:
But that's not how his employers, the Phoenix-Talent school district, saw it: "The Phoenix-Talent school district said the flag violates their harassment policy, even though it's displayed on his personal vehicle," according to a news report.
Webber says he was fired for not removing the flag from his vehicle. Here is how Webber reported the incident on his Facebook page:
Well I guess i'll update everyone on whats been going on. today I was called into the bus yards office where I was asked to remove the flag (I think y'all know the answer to that) so I got Fired!!! thats right I am now unemployed for standing up for my rights and what I believe.
Webber plans to take the school district to court for violating his first amendment rights. The AP reports:
An Oregon school bus driver fired after he refused to remove a Confederate battle flag flying from his pickup truck has enlisted the help of a conservative civil liberties group in hopes of getting his job back.
The Rutherford Institute of Charlottesville, Va., sent a letter Wednesday to First Student Bus Transportation Services demanding that Ken Webber of Medford, Ore., be reinstated. The institute says flying the flag is covered by his First Amendment right to free speech.
Watch the local news report about the brouhaha below: