TRAVELER’S REST, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate South Carolina principal has decided to allow students to bring American flags to school events, amid controversy after some students were told not to bring their flags into last Friday night’s football game between Traveler’s Rest and Borea High Schools.
“They had like a few American flags and more riverside flags so we thought that would be a good thing to bring back to Traveler’s Rest students to be patriotic about our country and support the veterans that were there,” said Alivia Waynick, one of the students barred from bringing her flag into the game last Friday.
Administrators barred her and other students from bringing the flag inside. Pictures popped up on social media sites causing outrage among parents and students, many of whom attacched flags to their cars and wore red, white and blue clothing to school on Monday.
“I brought my flag to support my country and support my team, not in any way to offend anyone,” said Waynick.
Traveler’s Rest Principal Lou Lavely said that the actions had been taken before in games against Borea, whose students are predominantly Hispanic, in order to avoid a repeat of “past events”. In a statement Lavely said “any decision to not allow the American flag to be used in an improper ‘taunting’, unsportsmanlike manner is first and foremost in the interests of promoting the safety and well-being of all in attendance at school events.”
Waynick said she understands and respects the administration’s position, but is upset that they assumed the worst.
“I’m very disappointed in the fact that I was expected, and the people who brought the flags were expected, to be disrespectful and using it in a taunting manner,” she said.
Monday night, Lavely changed his position after hearing from students that requested that he judge them on their own merits and not what previous classes did. As a result, students will be allowed to bring flags to all school events.
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