Student Claims American Flags Confiscated at Whitesboro High School
UPDATE: Whitesboro School Superintendent Brian Bellair released a statement on the American flags.
Today, some of our high school students brought flags to school on flagpoles that ranged in length from two to six feet. Other students wore flags tied around their necks or as emblems on articles of clothing.
The American flag is not banned at Whitesboro High School. However, the flagpoles and the flags tied around students’ necks were seen as a significant safety concern. Students who carried flagpoles with flags and students who tied flags around their necks were asked to give these items to administration. They were informed these items would be returned to them at the end of the day.
Students were allowed to wear shirts and other clothing permitted by the code of conduct with the American flag or other American patriotic content portrayed on the apparel. No student received any disciplinary consequence for bringing a flag to school or wearing patriotic clothing.
Dr. Brian K. Bellair
Superintendent of Schools
For the record, the word 'banned' was never used. Not by the student who made the claims or anywhere in the story below. The word used was 'confiscated.'
A 12th grader claims American Flags were confiscated at Whitesboro High School for Throwback Thursday during Spirit Week.
Last year's 'America Day' was changed to 'Throwback Thursday' this year during Spirit Week at Whitesboro High School. Seniors decided throw it back to America Day by showing their red, white and blue. Nick Fiorello, a student at Whitesboro High School tells us, "we decided to do a throwback to America Day, but when students entered the building American flags were taken and confiscated along with anything America related, including hats, bandannas and don’t tread on me flags."
Another senior, who wishes to remain anonymous, says it's "partially true. "Flags were taken but it was because students were disrespecting the flag by having it tied around their neck and to their book bags. Flags were also on poles, which is a safety concern for students. An no one had their hat, bandanna or American t-shirt taken away."
Fiorello claims the disrespect came from a staff member. "When the assistant principal took the flags from students he held them with them touching the ground. Very disrespectful."
Why were the flags taken? "There was no excuse given to students other than hand them over," says Fiorello. "We were not even told if we can get them back."
The anonymous senior tells us everything will be returned. "The flags are given back to the students at the end of the day."
Some students even wore clothes representing the American Flag and Fiorello claims "student who are dressed in American apparel and taking pictures will receive detentions."
The change from 'America Day' to 'Throwback Day' was made "to prevent controversy that happened last year when students brought Confederate Flags that others took offense to," explains the anonymous senior.
The K-12 dress policy on the Whitesboro Central Schools states the following attire is not permitted:
1. Clothing with potential to reveal private body parts.
2. Clothing with obscene language, including expression or insignia which is obscene or libelous, or which advocates racial or religious prejudice.
3. Clothing with graphic depiction of indecent behavior.