Free Speech Battle Over Confederate Flag Rages in Pittsburgh

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By Kyle Foley | 3:13 pm, December 12, 2016
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In the suburbs of Pittsburgh, a mini civil war is breaking out over the Confederate flag on it.

It all started last week when a student in the Plum School District wore a hoodie to school with the confederate flag on it. One student, a 16-year-old African American girl, was offended by the hoodie, according to her father. “My daughter shouldn’t have to endure or be subjected to hatred, bigotry, or any kind of racial animus,” said Robert Williams. “First Amendment rights aren’t absolute. I can’t run around and go into a movie theater and yell ‘fire,’” Williams added. “To wear the Confederate flag in a classroom environment, in a school environment, it was very disruptive and upsetting to my child.”

The student wearing the hoodie was not punished, which is part of what had Williams so upset, and the next day three other students wore clothing adorned with the Confederate flag. This led the school district to ban the use of the Confederate flag.

Superintendent Timothy Glasspool issued a statement, saying that “today, three students arrived at Plum High School wearing Confederate Flag clothing and/or accoutrements. This attire is beginning to cause a disruption to the normal school routine.” Two of the three students refused to remove the attire, resulting in them being sent home from school.

According to local news, two students held a Confederate flag outside the school Monday morning in protest of the ban. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s our freedom. If you’re from America, you were born in America, this is part of your history. This is what shaped America to be how it is today. It’s the exact same thing as the American flag.  As far as I’m concerned, they can’t do anything because it’s our First Amendment.” one of the students said.