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Virginia Students Suspended After Peaceful Protest

Freedom of expression is being limited at a Virginia high school after 23 students were suspended following a peaceful demonstration. The students were wearing clothing that featured the Confederate battle flag, a clear violation of the dress code of the school.

According to the students, who are now suspended from Christiansburg High School, they wore these controversial symbols in protest to the policy that forbids them, stating this is a violation of their freedom of speech.

According to the official dress code, students are banned from wearing any type of clothing item that may “reflect adversely on persons due to race’ and it also specifies that ‘clothing with Confederate flag symbols” fall into this category.

According to Barbara Drake, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County schools, almost half of all high and middle schools in the county have banned the display of the Confederate battle flag. Christiansburg High School has a student population of 1,100, with only eight percent of these students being black.

Drake also stated that these particular symbols had been banned at the high school since 2002 after the campus was facing quite a few fights among students based on Confederate symbols. She stated, “It was an entire school year of significant racial tension.” This is what spurred the ban of this type of clothing. According to students who are now suspended, they had a mission and believe they achieved their goal. They also have plans to wear the clothing when they return to school.

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