For the sake of "inclusivity" and protecting students from being "offended," a Colorado high school informed students last week that they were forbidden from flying any flags, including the American flag, in the parking lot. The next day, five seniors decided to stage a pro-freedom of speech, pro-America demonstration, proudly flying Old Glory in protest of the new policy. Following mounting public pressure, the school has since walked back its ill-conceived ban.
The flag ban at Fruita Monument High School reportedly came in response to a student who chose to fly a Confederate Flag behind his vehicle, something school officials deemed offensive to other students. The administration's solution: ban all flags. Students who disobeyed faced consequences, including the potential to be barred from walking in the graduation.
"They said we can't fly a Mexican flag, Confederate flag, American flag, any flag at all," said one of the senior protesters. "Whoever has a problem with our county’s flag really shouldn't be here, and really shouldn't say anything about it, because if they don't like our country why are they here?"
"I don't see how you can pull someone's right to walk in graduation because they were being patriotic,” said another student. "My buddy was kicked out for having [a flag] in his truck, and they threatened to expel Colt Chatfield for it, and they told all seniors that they would not walk [in graduation] if we continued to display flags in the school’s parking lot," he explained.
School officials insisted, rather incoherently, that the real issue was not what flag was being flown, but the resources devoted to "policing" them.
"It wasn’t a matter of it being an American flag, or a Rebel flag, or a Confederate flag, it was the fact that administration was spending time in the parking lot policing flags, rather than being in the building focused on helping students focus on learning and graduation, which is why we said no flags in the parking lot," said Principal Todd McClaskey.
Despite the school's initial attempt at defending the ban, they've since relented, allowing students to fly flags so long as they do so "respectfully."
Here's NBC-affiliate KKCO-11's report: