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Middle school student earns major win after school demanded he remove Gadsden flag from backpack
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Middle school student earns major win after school demanded he remove Gadsden flag from backpack

The Colorado school that admonished a middle school student for displaying the Gadsden flag on his backpack will now allow the student to display the flag.

What is the background?

The story of 12-year-old Jaiden, a seventh-grade student at the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, went viral on Tuesday after video showed school administrators reprimanding him over a "Don't Tread on Me" flag patch on his backpack.

School officials claimed the flag is associated with slavery and racism, assertions to which the boy's mother objected.

"The reason we do not want the flag displayed is due to its origins with slavery and the slave trade," a school administrator told the boy's mother, claiming it was "disruptive to the classroom environment."

In emails with the student's mother, school administrators also claimed the Gadsden flag is connected to "hate groups," the Confederate flag, and "white supremacy groups."

The school defended itself on Tuesday after receiving national media attention, claiming the story was "incomplete," according to a statement shared with KOAA-TV.

The Vanguard School said the Gadsden flag patch "was part of half a dozen other patches of semi-automatic weapons" on the backpack, but acknowledged that Jaiden removed those firearm-related patches. However, the statement failed to explain why school administrators demanded the removal of the Gadsden flag patch and falsely associated it with slavery. The patch does not violate the school's dress-code policy.

What is happening now?

The Vanguard School board of directors held an emergency meeting late Tuesday and decided Jaiden can sport the "Don't Treat on Me" flag patch.

In an email to parents of the Vanguard School, which was shared with TheBlaze, the board of directors explained:

From Vanguard’s founding we have proudly supported our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the ordered liberty that all Americans have enjoyed for almost 250 years. The Vanguard School recognizes the historical significance of the Gadsden flag and its place in history. This incident is an occasion for us to reaffirm our deep commitment to a classical education in support of these American principles.

At this time, the Vanguard School Board and the District have informed the student’s family that he may attend school with the Gadsden flag patch visible on his backpack.

The student's mother, Eden Rodriguez, told KOAA that she is proud her son took a stand.

"I do want him to stand up for his rights and [not] say 'bow down to the government,'" she told the news station. "I'm proud that he just chose the hard route."

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