Students at a Carroll County, Georgia, high school are rallying behind a student who claims he was told by a staff member that he was not allowed to fly the American flag from the bed of his truck while the truck is on school property (video below).
In a video interview with WSB, LaChristopher Hebert said he was one of the students who decided to protest by flying a flag from his truck. He described what happened when he and his friends showed up at Mount Zion High School with their flags flying.
“When we got here, they was all yelling at us to take our flags down or they would be cut down and stuff like this,” Hebert said.
The gathering of flag-flying vehicles reportedly occurred a day after another student made a post to Facebook saying that he was told to remove a flag from his truck when his mom picked him up at school.
“I find it disturbing that when my mom picks me up from school in my truck flying an American flag, a staff member comes outside and tells me that we are not allowed to fly it in the schools (sic) parking lot.” the post read, reports WSB. The student who posted the message was not named.
The district’s assistant superintendent told WSB that there was more to the story than just a single student being asked to take down a flag. In a statement obtained by WSB, the district suggested that there had been a disruption related to flags flying from vehicles but did not elaborate.
“The school system does not have a policy or objection to displaying the American flag,” the statement read in part. “We do request that all students and parents respect the learning environment of the school and refrain from causing disruptions on school grounds.”
“The administration at Mt. Zion High School had to address an issue on Tuesday (Aug. 11) morning involving students driving around in the parking lot before school in a disruptive manner playing loud music and displaying the American flag as well as the Confederate flag on the back of their vehicles,” it continued. “This issue was addressed in a respectful manner with very little disturbance. It is the goal of the Carroll County School System to provide each and every student with a quality education while also allowing students opportunities to show their patriotism for this great country in an honorable and respectful fashion.”
Hebert said he wasn’t flying a Confederate flag from his truck.
“No,” he said when asked. “I think there were two or three that was, but they took them down as soon as we parked.”
It remains unclear if school officials will continue to insist that flags can’t be flown from student vehicles. Students who spoke with WSB said they plan to gather and fly American flags again on Aug. 14.
The experience of a group of South Carolina students suggests they might just be able to get officials to acquiesce.
In May, officials at York Comprehensive High School, in York County, South Carolina, changed their minds and said students could fly flags from vehicles after students and community members protested a policy that required a student to remove an American flag from his truck.
"Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy," a statement from the district read, according to WSOC News. “School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard.”
That statement followed a peaceful demonstration, in which more than 70 vehicles paraded down a local highway, all flying flags in protest of the policy.