PLUM (KDKA) – Some students in the Plum School District are protesting a ban on wearing Confederate flag attire.
Last week, an African-American student said she felt threatened by a student wearing a Confederate flag hoodie.
The next day, three more students showed up to school wearing Confederate flag attire, which prompted the district to enact the ban.
This morning, two students stood outside the school holding Confederate flags in protest.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s our freedom. If you’re from America, you were born in America, this is part of your history. This is what shaped America to be how it is today. It’s the exact same thing as the American flag. As far as I’m concerned, they can’t do anything because it’s our First Amendment…” one student said.
“I’m fighting for my rights. it’s our First Amendment, they can’t take our rights away,” freshman Kelsey Evans said.
Evans was one of two freshmen who stood in front of Plum Senior High School for hours, holding the Confederate flag.
“I’m fighting for what I believe in because so many people think it’s racist but it’s not,” Evans said.
A protest was expected to take place around 7 a.m. However, these two students were it until a third student came by for a short amount of time. They are upset that the district banned clothing displaying the Confederate flag.
“This is more than a statement of I can’t wear what I want to wear. When you wear something that is racially insensitive, it’s not appropriate,” parent Dr. Troy Lyons said.
Dr. Troy Lyons and her husband, Stanford, walked their sophomore son to school Monday because they were concerned for his safety.
“The Confederate flag represents oppression and slavery in the south and we are not going to stand for that,” Lyons said.
After a few hours of standing outside, these students say the principal told them to leave property or else they’d get arrested.
On Friday, Superintendent Timothy Glasspool issued a statement which reads in part: “Today, three students arrived at Plum High School wearing Confederate Flag clothing and/or accouterments. This attire is beginning to cause a disruption to the normal school routine.”
Glasspool reported that the District has received in excess of 50 negative reactions. He stated the students were asked to remove the offensive symbol from their attire. Two students apparently refused and were sent home.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas reached out to the superintendent to see if he had any new updates on the ban, and have yet to hear back.