DICKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s been a nationwide uproar about a Tennessee school district’s ban on Confederate and American flags on student vehicles while on school property.
The phones at the Dickson County Board of Education have been ringing off the hook.
People from all over the country have been calling, upset because of national media reports that all flags were banned from county schools, something Director of Schools D. Weeks said is not true.
“Each one of our schools has a flag proudly displayed outside, out in front of those,” Weeks said. “Each one of our mornings somehow include the use and the appropriate use, and respect for that flag and most of our schools every day say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.”
Weeks said on the first day of school, a student had both a Confederate and American flag displayed on his vehicle.
Because of the recent controversy about the stars and bars flag, the district decided no flags could be displayed on students’ vehicles while on school grounds.
“We always look to minimize disruptions of any kind if that happens to be a disruption out in the parking lot or if that happens to be a disruption throughout the school day,” Weeks said.
Phoebe Nichols-Peak is a Creek Wood High School senior, and she is not too happy about the flag ban for students.
“We should be able to have our American flags on our vehicles if we want to,” the senior said. “It’s completely unpatriotic taking it away; it’s part of our history just like the Confederate flag.”
Her mother Beverly Peak agrees.
“They want to educate our children, they say, but they want to send them home because they have flags on their vehicles,” Peak added. “The truck you were talking about earlier? I saw that vehicle, and it was flying both flags, the Confederate flag and the American flag.”
The director of schools said the district also teaches students how to be respectful and not desecrate the American flag, so there will be some changes here at Creek Wood High during football games.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to teach students the appropriate respect for the American flag. That would include how it’s displayed. That would include how it is used and how it should not be draped around their bodies or use of the banner to use as an antagonizing thing,” Weeks said.
Weeks also said the worst thing about the negative publicity and the untruths about a flag ban is being accused of being un-American.
“We’re disappointed in some of those people who always seek and try to believe the worst in everything,” he explained. “We believe the stories that have been published or certainly been distracting to us as a district and unfairly portray the Dickson County school system, Dickson County, Tennessee, and the state of Tennessee.”
The district also has a dress code policy that prevents students from bearing flags or any other symbol on their shirts.
They are only allowed to wear plain shirts or ones with the school name or logo.