Indian River County School District discusses possibility of ban - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Indian River County School District discusses possibility of banning confederate flag

picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK picture by AP GRAPHICSBANK

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- A symbol of hate? A piece of American history?

The debate over the confederate flag is still a hot topic in Indian River County, where school leaders could decide if they will ban the confederate flag from campus.


This comes after several reports of racial tension at Indian River Schools this school year as a result of the display or use of the flag.

At the beginning of the school year, cell phone video captured someone ripping a confederate flag from a truck parked on school property.

Just this month, some Vero Beach High School students were disciplined for passing around a racially charged flyer that read "The south will rise again" with the picture of a confederate flag.

"As the tumultuous atmospheres in our nation goes up, so does the atmosphere in our schools," said Tony Brown, President of the Indian River County chapter of the NAACP.

Brown is now pushing the school district to officially ban confederate flags from being worn on clothing, or displayed in any other way on school property.

"We feel the climate getting worse. So, either do something about it now or suffer the consequences later," Brown said.

At Tuesday's school board meeting, Brown spoke to the board about his concerns with the flyer that was passed to other students, and also brought up his desire to see the flag banned.

Brown says some board members seemed supportive of the idea.

The Indian River County School District would not comment on the idea.

Brown says some board members and school leaders want to explore whether the school actually has the power to impose such a ban.

Parent, Linda Scott, graduated from Vero Beach High School around 1970, when she says the school was being integrated.

Back then, she says the administration did an 'excellent' job at easing any racial tensions.

"It makes me sad to think we haven't gotten past that in this day and age," Scott said.

"I can see both sides of it. As a southerner, you know, that's history. Part of me hates to see history being changed… but, yea. If that's offensive to some people and that's our history then so be it. Maybe it's time to move on," Scott said.

Scott has two granddaughters. She says the younger children don't seem to see color the way adults do. She hopes the issue is resolved long before they reach high school.

Brown isn't sure if anything will change, but he is glad to see that he is continuing the conversation. "It's a move beyond where we were. Any movement is a positive thing," Brown said.

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