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CARROLL COUNTY, Md. —
The Carroll County School Board discussed banning Confederate flags from being displayed and worn on campuses Wednesday at its monthly board meeting.
Concerned parents raised the issue at a board meeting in January, saying the symbol represents hate, and that minority students feel threatened and ostracized.
Superintendent Stephen Guthrie spoke with district lawyers to determine whether they can legally ban the symbol.
Some say it’s a symbol that represents hate, while others say it’s one of pride and history.
“I feel like it’s an attitude, you know, like, trying to set the trend of bringing it back, where if people feel discriminated against, it’s an issue, you know, be done with it,” said Brian Richman, who is for the Confederate flag ban.
“I just think it’s more historical and history, and for some people, their family fought for it and they believe in it,” said Maria Berry, who is against the ban.
The issue has parents divided in Carroll County. Some are calling on the board to change the dress code.
Guthrie wants the Confederate flag gone from campuses altogether. It would mean no backpacks, clothing or even bumper stickers could don the Confederate flag in or on school grounds.
The Carroll County Public Schools handbook explicitly states clothing shall not convey symbols or messages generally accepted to promote hate, intolerance, racial slurs or harassment.
Some feel it’s a matter of free speech.
“Honestly, I think if people want to wear it, they can wear it. They have the right. Granted, if they are using it intentionally to start fights between students, then that’s a different story,” said Chip Tanto, who said he is indifferent to the ban.
If the school district decides to ban the flag, it would be one of just a few in the country to do so.
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