Students reprimanded for Confederate flag attire upset at reaction

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (KTRK) -- A group of high school students in Arkansas are upset after they were reprimanded by staff members and asked not to wear Confederate flag attire to school.

"I just put Confederate flags all over their hands, on their face, wherever they wanted it. During lunch they had the police, the principal, Vice Principal Mr. Smith, all of the deans, and they were all telling us we either had to wash it off or go home," said Fayetteville High School student Morrigan White.

School administrators at Fayetteville High say the actions of at least three students who wore Confederate flag jackets and painted the flags on their faces and hands were against the school's policy to keep a safe and undisrupted environment.

"We're not trying to trample on their First Amendment rights we're just trying to have a safe and orderly school environment," said principal Jay Dostal.

According to the district's rules, "attire that disrupts the educational process or otherwise interferes with the rights or opportunities of others to learn or teach (is considered improper and unacceptable)."

The student say they were supporting an online movement called #HistoryNotHate.

"We have validated that the Confederate flag in our building can cause a substantially disruptive environment for some of our students, and because of that we're going to take measure to make sure that all of our kids remain safe," said Dostal.

The students said their actions were showing the history of the flag.

"The American flag was raised for slavery, too, but I mean all the flags (what) we're trying to say is, 'We don't want to be in your nation. We want to be ourselves, we don't want to be part of this,'" said White.

According to KNWA, the students said they'll continue.

"They're both going to keep wearing their jackets and if I have makeup, I'm going to put #HistoryNotHate on my hands. I'll still keep putting the flag on my face," said White.

"None of us are racist. None of us are doing it for hate. It's southern pride and we're not going to take it off for anyone. It's our flag, it's Arkansas. This is the South," said Jagger Starnes.
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