Students at Fayetteville High School (FHS) wear Confederate flags to school in support of the #HistoryNotHate, now they’re facing consequences.
In an exclusive interview, KNWA’s Katie Davila sat down with the students who share why they’re upset with how administrators are handling the situation.
“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.
#HistoryNotHate, is a movement Fayetteville High School students are supporting.
“I told him I wasn’t going to take it off. So then I went to the office, had a discussion, and then the head principal ended up calling me racist,” said Fayetteville High School student Jagger Starnes.
FHS Principal Dr. Jay Dostal said the student’s actions 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 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].”
“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.
But 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] were 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.
“To me it’s southern pride, it’s our heritage,” said Starnes.
Despite being reprimanded by the school, the students said they’ll continue to protest.
“They’re both going to keep wearing their jackets and if I have makeup I’m going to put hashtag history not hate 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 Starnes.