A Florida high school canceled spirit week after students displayed a Confederate flag on "Culture Day."
The group of Osceola County High School students were spotted on campus with the flag, wearing flannels and cowboy boots on Oct. 4, the Daily Mail reports.
"Culture Day" also fell on what the group, which describes its members as "rednecks," called "Kowboy Day" in which students are encouraged to wear Western attire.
Purity Maingi, 16, contacted WFTV to report the incident.
"It really bothered me," she said. "It was a whole group of people and not one of them thought, 'This is wrong. It's going to affect people.' It affected me. I couldn't just look at it and look away."
In response, the school canceled the remainder of spirit week and said it will discipline the students in accordance with the school code of conduct.
Not all students and parents were pleased with the response.
"To have the whole senior class punished for that, I feel like that’s unfair," said Davonna Jean Giles, whose daughter is a senior at Osceola County High School.
The incident sparked controversy online, but for different reasons.
Some argued the school's treatment of the students was unfair.
"What a bunch of sissy snowflakes at the Osceola School District," wrote one person in the Orlando Sentinel's comments section. "These people would have went out out there minds, if they would have had a job back when I went to high school. We had 3 or 4 huge Confederate Flags we waived at Football games. My high school was Dixie Hollins, home of the "Fights Rebels" in St. Petersburg Fl. And it wasn't just white guys waiving those Confederate Battle flags, there were black guys there too. We all had 'school pride.'"
"I’d love to see the students in question present their reasoning for bringing the flag," said another. "I’m sure they would be able to explain clearly that they intended no disrespect."
"Love the freedom of speech," sarcastically wrote one user in the Daily Mail's comments section.
Others defended the school's stance.
"It is a high school you have no rights when on campus except the right they allow you to have," shot back another. "It is much like a work place in this regard. So please stop with the freedom of speech nonsense, no one's freedoms are being trampled on. But you posters new that you are just towing the party line and spewing your daily talking points."