Students at a Georgia High School were caught on video waiving a Confederate flag at Coosa High School in Rome in Floyd County. Fellow classmates, who were outraged about the flag planned a protest. However, the school’s administration announced that students wouldn’t be allowed to protest. Then students and their parents allege they were suspended for planning a protest against racism according to CBS 46.
“I feel the Confederate flag should not be flown at all. It is a racist symbol and it makes me feel disrespected,” student organizer Jaylynn Murray told the news station. She also said four students were flying the flag on a spirit day called “farm day.”
Murray and Fain said they started making plans to protest against racism after the administration didn’t discipline the students who were flying the Confederate flag. The students allegedly were also spewing racial slurs against Black students.
A parent provided CBS46 with a recording of an announcement over the school intercom last week where a school administrator warned students they would be punished if they tried to protest.
“The administration is aware for tomorrow’s planned protest,” the administrator announced said it would not be allowed at the school. “Police will be present here at school and if students insist on encouraging this kind of activity they will be disciplined for encouraging unrest.”
Students told CBS46 that they began to argue with administrators about the lack of disciplinary action taken against students using racial slurs.
The Black students say they were suspended. However, white students told the news station they were disruptive and argumentative with administrators but they were not suspended, only Black students, according to the student protestors. By the end of the week, more students joined together to protest outside the school throughout the day, most of them were suspended at the time. Others chose to skip, with the permission and support of their parents.
“All the African Americans they suspended them, and they didn’t suspend them.” Lilyan Huckaby said while pointing to white and Hispanic students who were skipping school to protest. “They didn’t suspend me and I was yelling and loud. It’s because I’m white,” Huckaby told CBS46.
“We’re not allowed to wear Black Lives Matter shirts or the LGBTQ flag, but kids can have Confederate flags and they have said nothing,” Huckaby told CBS46. Parents brought the students water, ice, and food throughout the day and helped monitor the protest.
Several Black parents told CBS46 there were notified about the suspensions by sheriff’s deputies coming to their homes. One parent said an officer pulled her over while she was driving to inform her her daughter was being suspended.
“This is the letter that the principal and sheriff hand delivered to me at my house,” one parent said.
Lekysha Morgan says her three children were suspended for planning to participate in the protest. She says she has complained to Coosa High School administrators repeatedly about racially-discriminatory comments said to her children from other students. She was told administrators are looking into it, but she hasn’t seen the students responsible be suspended.
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