To fly the flag or not to fly the flag, that is the question the school administration has been tossing around in their heads regarding senior Cody Stalcar and junior Tanner Crapeau flying the Confederate flag in their trucks. This is a very pivotal moment for the future of how speech is regulated within our school. I do not believe that if somebody is offended by what you say, that it makes it right to ban what you say. This is hardly a representative of the real world. The goal of high school is to provide a good transition from childhood into adulthood. To have issues such as this in which you are exercising your right to free speech is counter-intuitive to the end goal of schooling.
I personally dislike the Confederate flag and consider it a symbol of racism because the Civil War was fought, in part, over the state right to own slaves. However, this does not mean people who fly the Confederate flag are racist by default. Some fly the Confederate flag because it is not a racist symbol to them but rather a representation of their personal identity. Where does this leave the flag within our schools?
The Confederate flag is inappropriate for government institutions to fly the flag based on what it was used to represent just as it would be inappropriate to fly the flag of the Ku Klux Klan because of the history of that flag. For those who wish to fly the Confederate flag, this would be protected within the parameters of the First Amendment which specifically protects controversial speech such as this. What worries me about this situation is if the administration does conclude that they can forcefully remove the flag from the students’ trucks. Then when will the suppression of speech stop? Will you no longer be able to voice valid opinions because of their capacity to offend someone? This may not be the case, but it does leave a strong precedent for events of that nature to occur.
If the school wants us to become independent adults then the school must recognize certain situations in which the students are entitled to their right of how they represent themselves.