Fruita Monument High School administrators decided that the best way to deal with the controversy of flying Confederate, Mexican, and American flags from their vehicles was to ban the practice of flag flying all together. But that decision didn't go over well with students, and the administration had to take action again.
According to Education Action Group, Principal Todd McClaskey first banned the flags at the high school near Grand Junction because some students found some of the flags offensive.
NBC affiliate KKCO 11 reports that McClaskey also found the flags to be a safety issue, saying, “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."
But students like Keegan Bogart objected to the ban, especially when he said it was enforced with threats of punishment.
Bogart explained, “I don’t see how you can pull someone’s right to walk in graduation because they were being patriotic. 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.”
School officials denied threatening punishment but eventually complied to student demands, allowing students to fly flags on their cars again as long as they did it "respectfully." The decision last week prompted 70 students to show up at the school proudly waving their banners. The group also included one unidentified veteran.
“We’re all proud of this flag," he said. "Thousands of people have died for this flag. I think we should be behind the kids.”