HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Suspended Christiansburg ...

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 09:10 AM

Suspended Christiansburg HS students say they will wear flag again Friday

Last edited Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:26 AM - Edit history (3)

Source: WSLS-TV, Roanoke, Virginia

By Jenna Zibton - Virginia Today Anchor and Bethany Teague - New River Valley Reporter
Published: September 17, 2015, 8:49 am | Updated: September 18, 2015, 5:00 am

CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) – More than 20 Christiansburg High School students who were suspended Thursday for wearing clothing with the Confederate Flag on it said they will wear the flags again Friday and for the foreseeable future.

Montgomery County Public Schools said 25 students came to class Thursday wearing the flag, which is a violation of the school’s dress code. Schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake said the students were given the opportunity to comply with the dress code, but refused. So they were given one day of in school suspension (ISS).
....

In 2015, the school adopted a new policy, banning students from displaying the Confederate flag or decal on their cars in the school parking lot. It’s a policy students must agree to in writing before receiving a parking pass.
....

The ACLU of Virginia weighed in on the issues at Christiansburg High, saying schools must balance first amendment rights with a healthy learning environment. ... Claire Gastanaga with the ACLU of Virginia explained, “The question that they have to decide is whether the expression or the symbol will cause what is called ‘a substantial disruption at the school,’ and they have to be able to reasonably forecast that substantial disruption.” ... School leaders say while a school division is not allowed to ban a specific symbol, each individual school can ban what they deem to be offensive. An offensive symbol is determined by an incident that disrupts the education of students during the school day.

Read more: http://wsls.com/2015/09/17/christiansburg-high-school-students-suspended-for-wearing-confederate-flag/



This is part of an ongoing story. I'll post more throughout the day.

Yesterday at DU: Students suspended for clothing displaying Confederate flag

Just a reminder:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So: "each individual school can ban what they deem to be offensive." Let's say the administration at a school deems the rainbow flag offensive and bans its display. You bring one to school and wave it anyway. As a result, you're suspended. Are you fine with that?

Remember, your opinion doesn't count; only that of the school administration. Your job is to submit to authority.

Happy Constitution Day, plus one.

ETA, from yesterday, a post with links to SCOTUS decisions:

There was a thread earlier at DU about this school, but it involved a separate incident.

14 replies, 2694 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Suspended Christiansburg HS students say they will wear flag again Friday (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2015 OP
geek tragedy Sep 2015 #1
SpankMe Sep 2015 #2
mac56 Sep 2015 #3
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2015 #4
Gore1FL Sep 2015 #5
AlbertCat Sep 2015 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2015 #7
Feeling the Bern Sep 2015 #8
Orsino Sep 2015 #9
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2015 #10
Daemonaquila Sep 2015 #11
graegoyle Sep 2015 #12
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2015 #13
tabasco Sep 2015 #14

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 09:12 AM

1. There's room for accomodation and compromise there.

 

let the little racist pieces of trash wear their white hoods in class instead of the flag. Promote freedom and candor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:13 AM

2. This is a tough one.

Let the racist little fuckbags wear these symbols while lying that they're all about "heritage" and not race? Or, ban the symbol because of the obvious disruption it is known to cause (i.e., fights and a literal disruption in school operations).

From the article, the school said that the ban has been in place for 15 years as a response to fights with racial overtones in the 2000-2001 school year in which the flag was considered antagonizing toward the black students.

The free speech aspect isn't cut and dried here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:16 AM

3. Not the same.

In its opinion, the court majority stated that "the constitutional rights of students in public school are not automatically coextensive with the rights of adults in other settings." Instead, the high court set up a balancing test: "the freedom to advocate unpopular and controversial views in schools and classrooms must be balanced against society’s countervailing interest in teaching students the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior."

http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/freedoms/faq.aspx?id=12991

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mac56 (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:27 AM

4. From yesterday:

There was an earlier thread involving the same school:

Christiansburg school bans Confederate symbols from parking lot (VA)

My response at the time was: Is Tinker Meaningless Now?

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969) was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that defined the constitutional rights of students in U.S. public schools. The Tinker test is still used by courts today to determine whether a school's disciplinary actions violate students' First Amendment rights.

Background of the case

In 1965, Des Moines, Iowa residents John F. Tinker (15 years old), his siblings Mary Beth Tinker (13 years old), Hope Tinker (11 years old), and Paul Tinker (8 years old), along with their friend Christopher Eckhardt (16 years old) decided to wear black armbands to their schools (high school for John and Christopher, junior high for Mary Beth, elementary school for Hope and Paul) in protest of the Vietnam War and supporting the Christmas Truce called for by Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The principals of the Des Moines schools learned of the plan and met on December 14 to create a policy that stated that school children wearing an armband would be asked to remove it immediately. Violating students would be suspended and allowed to return to school after agreeing to comply with the policy. The participants decided to violate this policy. Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt were suspended from school for wearing armbands on December 16 and John Tinker was suspended for doing the same on the following day. (The two youngest participants were not punished.) Mary Beth, Christopher, and John were suspended from school until after January 1, 1966, when their protest had been scheduled to end.
....

Subsequent jurisprudence

Tinker remains a viable and frequently-cited Court precedent, though subsequent Court decisions have determined limitations on the scope of student free speech rights. In Bethel School District v. Fraser, a 1986 case, the Supreme Court held that a high school student's sexual innuendo–laden speech during a student assembly was not constitutionally protected. Though Fraser applies the Tinker test of disruption to school decorum, if not undermining of educational mission, the effect is to make an exception to Tinker for "indecent" speech. Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, where the court ruled that schools have the right to regulate, for legitimate educational reasons, the content of non-forum, school-sponsored newspapers, also limits Tinker's application. The Court in Hazelwood clarified that both Fraser and Hazelwood were decided under the doctrine of Perry Education Association v. Perry Local Educators Association. Such a distinction keeps undisturbed the Material Disruption doctrine of Tinker, while deciding certain student free speech cases under the Nonpublic Forum doctrine of Perry. In Morse v. Frederick, the so-called "Bong Hits For Jesus" case of 2007, the Court held that schools may, consistent with the First Amendment, restrict student speech at a school-sponsored event, even those events occurring off school grounds, when that speech is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use. In 2013, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit re-heard a case that had been argued before a panel of its judges, considering whether a charitable effort - a breast cancer awareness drive - impermissibly disrupts a middle school by distributing bracelets imprinted "I ♥ Boobies."

Here's the original article in the Roanoke Times to which struggle4progress's post links:

Christiansburg school bans Confederate symbols from parking lot

Posted: Monday, September 14, 2015 12:00 am
By Travis Williams
travis.williams@roanoke.com
381-1643

....
School dress code bars students from wearing articles, “that reflect adversely on persons due to race (such as clothing with Confederate flag symbols), gender, creed, national origin, physical abilities, emotional abilities, or intellectual abilities.” “Signs, decals or stickers” are prohibited from placement on lockers.

The legal standard for public schools issuing such bans is based on officials being able to reasonably forecast that a particular symbol or expression will cause a “substantial disruption,” Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, wrote in an email. There is no list of accepted criteria, she wrote, but the school’s history and recent violence can be factors.

Fights, demonstrations or other disruptions are the school’s criteria for banning certain symbols in accordance with state law, {County schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake} said. The parking policy was based on “external factors,” she said. ... “There have been no protests or that type of thing,” Drake said. “In working with students on conflict issues, our staff members look at more than external factors such as race. We know that often there are deeper issues at play and we work to ensure that all of our students’ needs are met.”

Gastanaga wrote that she believes the school’s parking policy could be questioned on constitutional grounds because it applies to vehicles outside the school building, not expression inside it, and the rule’s broad language makes it difficult to know what exactly is disallowed and who would be deeming something offensive. ... “We would urge the school administration and the school board to examine carefully any broadly stated policy like Rule 11,” she wrote. ... Drake did not cite examples of other symbols that would be banned.

There is no constitutional protection against having your feelings hurt by someone else's automobile.

ETA: There is no constitutional protection against having your feelings hurt, period.

Happy Constitution Day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:52 AM

5. Free speech <> Consequence Free Speech.

These kids will ultimately end up forcing the district to have a school uniform.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 10:58 AM

6. Well....

 

....at least the smart and cool kids will know who to avoid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 11:18 AM

7. From the Washington Post on Thursday:

Virginia high school students suspended for wearing Confederate flag apparel

Education

By T. Rees Shapiro and Moriah Balingit September 17 at 5:10 PM

A peaceful student demonstration at a Virginia high school ended with school administrators suspending 23 teens for wearing clothing emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag, which violates the school’s dress code, according to school officials, students and parents.

The students, who attend Christiansburg High School in southwestern Virginia, said they wore the controversial Confederate symbols to protest a school policy that prohibits them, which they view as a violation of their free speech. Students are barred from wearing any clothing that could “reflect adversely on persons due to race” and specifies that “clothing with Confederate flag symbols” falls in that category.

Montgomery County schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake said that half of all middle schools and high schools in the county do not allow the display of the Confederate battle flag. About 8 percent of Christiansburg High School’s 1,100 students are black and more than 80 percent are white, according to the Associated Press.

Drake said Confederate flag symbols have been banned at Christiansburg High since 2002, following a year when the campus was roiled by racially motivated fights between students, some of which were linked back to students wearing Confederate symbols. ... “It was an entire school year of significant racial tension,” Drake said, adding that some of that violence has continued despite the ban. “I think certainly we value First Amendment rights, but we have to maintain an orderly and safe environment for all students.”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 11:29 AM

8. Justice Robert Jackson in West Virginia V. Barnette (1943)

 

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act"

School officials are petty governmental agents, as such, they have no right to suspend any student for a silent protest. This was reinforced in 1968 by Tinker V. Des Moines.

"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." Justice Abe Fortas

Being a historian and a humanities professor, I would, as much as I loathe that flag and what it means and stands for, defend these students with every ounce of my blood, going so far as to wear the flag as a lapel on my suit just to defend the right to free speech in a public setting.

The first amendment is not designed to protect the assent, but the dissent of opinion. It takes no courage to agree.

I know what Bert is going through. It's the loneliest feeling in the world -- to find yourself standing up when everybody else is sitting down. To have everybody look at you and say, "What's the matter with him?" I know. I know what it feels like. Walking down an empty street, listening to the sound of your own footsteps. Shutters closed, blinds drawn, doors locked against you. And you aren't sure whether you're walking toward something. or if you're just walking away.

But all you have to do is knock on any door and say, "If you let me in, I'll live the way you want me to live, and I'll think the way you want me to think," and all the blinds'll go up and all the windows will open, and you'll never be lonely, ever again. -- Henry Drummond from both the stage play and 1960 film versions of Inherit the Wind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 11:30 AM

9. This is the hill the dumbasses choose to die on?

The Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch share a smile and a wink, and are content.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 12:53 PM

10. Protests continue over Confederate flag ban at Christiansburg High School

Last edited Fri Sep 18, 2015, 03:25 PM - Edit history (4)

From the Roanoke Times:

Protests continue over Confederate flag ban at Christiansburg High School

Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 11:36 am

Associated Press

CHRISTIANSBURG — Protests continued Friday over a western Virginia high school's ban on Confederate flags displayed on clothing and cars, but no more students were suspended for the violating the policy and one student said he's considering legal action.

A group of roughly 40 people, including Christiansburg High School students and their supporters, gathered near the school Friday morning and flew Confederate flags from their cars and trucks. They called on the administration to reverse its policy a day after roughly 20 students were sent home for refusing to take off their Confederate flag gear before entering the school.
....

{School district spokeswoman Brenda Drake} said no students were suspended on Friday for dress code violations. Three students, who came to school wearing clothing displaying the flag, removed the items before entering the building, she said. Other students never came into the school, but Drake couldn't say how many.

Before classes began Friday, senior Houston Miller said he's considering a lawsuit against the school. Miller has been leading the fight against the bans and said he will continue his efforts until the administration backs down. Several adults supporting the teens waved Confederate flags as students arrived at the school Friday and the group said it would be back Monday.

The Washington Post gives the author credit:

Protests continue over Confederate flag ban at high school

National

By Alanna Durkin | AP September 18 at 2:04 PM

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. — Protests continued Friday over a western Virginia high school’s ban on Confederate flags displayed on clothing and cars, but no more students were suspended for the violating the policy and one student said he’s considering legal action.
....

http://www.twitter.com/aedurkin

This Associated Press story gives some background:

Students suspended for clothing displaying Confederate flag

By ALANNA DURKIN
Sep. 17, 2015 6:53 PM EDT

About 20 western Virginia high school students were suspended Thursday after holding a rally to protest a new policy banning vehicles with Confederate flag symbols from the school parking lot and refusing to take off clothing displaying the symbol.
....

Richmond-based Attorney Jonathan Arthur said he has been talking to some of the students about potentially filing a lawsuit against the school, arguing that they have a Constitutionally-protected right to wear clothing emblazoned the flag.

Douglas Mertz, an attorney in Juneau, Alaska, who works on civil rights cases, said the courts have been divided over the issue. It often comes down to whether the school can point to concrete and specific problems that the symbol has caused, like a fight that broke out between students.

"The Supreme Court has said that you don't speculate that there might be a substantial impact on the education process. It has got to be really clear," Mertz said. "School officials can't simply go in with the belief that symbols are trouble and therefore can be banned," he said.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 01:52 PM

11. Sadly, gotta side with the mouth breathers.

 

The only reason these morons should be stopped from wearing their shirts is if they're doing so to specifically threaten or intimidate.

I'm tired of schools deciding that the constitution ends at the schoolyard gate. George Carlin's t-shirt with 1000 dirty words MIGHT constitute a disruption, if only because kids won't stop reading the t-shirt long enough to listen in class. Wearing an "I support ISIS" t-shirt might be disruptive. So might an actual pornographic image. Short of that level, no idea, logo, word, image, etc. should be considered disruptive. Modern schools mistake keeping order and training kids to be submissive at all costs for actual disruption.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 19, 2015, 12:35 AM

12. "Wearing an "I support ISIS" t-shirt might be disruptive."

Some people see the confederate rag as a symbol of a U.S. version of ISIS: They wanted their own country and killed people to do it. They hanged and mutilated people to scare others into getting their way. If an ISIS shirt is "disruptive", so is the confederate rag.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 02:53 PM

13. NAACP president urges discussion of rebel flag in Christiansburg

NAACP president urges discussion of rebel flag in Christiansburg

Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015 11:36 am | Updated: 5:25 pm, Fri Sep 18, 2015.

Associated Press |

CHRISTIANSBURG, — An NAACP leader in the town where students have been suspended over wearing Confederate flag emblems to school commended the teens Friday for standing up for their beliefs, but said he doesn’t believe they understand the pain that the symbol brings to black people.

Alvin Humes, president of the NAACP chapter in Christiansburg, said he supports the local high school’s decision to ban the flag and believes that the debate could be resolved if the school would bring both sides together to have a discussion about the meaning of the flag.

“I wish that there was some kind of way that we really could have a dialogue with these kids ... and try to explain to them what they’re doing is not exactly right because it hurts people in this community,” he said.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 03:01 PM

14. Enjoy being a year behind your classmates, morons.

 

Schools are allowed to proscribe dress codes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread