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Lessons Learned

by The Urban News

The Confederate flag was brought to West Henderson High School in Henderson County by two students on February 8, 2023, and many people are seeking answers, expressing their concerns, and calling for accountability.

A photo that surfaced on Facebook shows two students holding the ends of the Confederate flag and teacher Kelly King standing in front of them. The picture was sent anonymously to an LGBTQ support group on Facebook, and within minutes went mainstream—along with video footage that was soon in the hands of local news media. The publicity caused school administrators to try to respond swiftly to concerned parents.

A statement released by Henderson County Schools, sent out after West Henderson Principal Luke Manuel declined to comment to local media, reads: “On Feb. 8, 2023, a West Henderson staff member notified school officials of two students displaying a Confederate flag between the third- and fourth-period class change. Administrators immediately began an investigation that is still ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to speak with school administration.

“Henderson County Public Schools condemns behavior that violates the Student Code of Conduct or Henderson County Public Schools Board Policy. Additional information regarding this incident and disciplinary action are protected by student confidentiality laws.”

The students involved claimed it was their First Amendment right to use the Confederate flag to cover the posters of the Gay-Straight Alliance school support group. Comments posted on Facebook were a mix: some showed support for “heritage,” “freedom of speech,” and encouragement that read “boys fly the flag high,” and other commentators stated that “they were not surprised,” while alumni made remarks of being disappointed and embarrassed for the school.

Crystal Cauley, founder of an African American Parent Alliance known as AAPA, said in response to the shared post that having a…

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