The flag will not fly.
Student activism won in favor of tolerance and respect at Bloomington High School North on Oct. 26 after a protest against the use of Confederate flags at the school.
BHSN Principal Jeffry M. Henderson said students are not to wear or display the Confederate flag on any item on the student’s person in a letter published for the parents and guardians of students.
The controversy about whether or not students had the freedom to wear or have the Confederate flags surfaced earlier this month when students wore Confederate flags as capes during school hours. Many students said they felt unsafe. Some even left school.
On Oct. 26, a protest at the Monroe County Community Schools Corporation administration building had a group of about 30 students and faculty members voicing their concerns to the district superintendent, Judith DeMuth.
After the forum led by the superintendent, the letter sent home to students’ families was read to the protesters.
Henderson said the Supreme Court Case Tinker v. Des Moines established a test when schools have the right to limit student expression. This case established the standard that when students’ actions cause substantial disruption to the educational environment, the school can intervene and limit the student’s expression, according to the letter.
The letter stated the Confederate flag was banned from the school, school-sponsored events and functions.
Henderson said one of the educational institution’s main focuses is teaching tolerance for opposing points of view and civil discourse surrounding controversial issues among students. He said balancing the First Amendment rights of all people in a democracy is challenging, but doing so with teenagers can be even more challenging.
“The safety and well-being of all of our students is always at the forefront of everything we do as a school,” Henderson said in the letter.