By Scott Tibbs, November 4, 2005
Bloomington South High School has banned the Confederate battle flag from school grounds, claiming that it causes a disruption.
However one feels about the Confederate flag, I think it is unfortunate and dangerous that one of the local government high schools is saying that a symbol causes a disruption. That undermines the concept of personal responsibility. Are we to believe that 14-18 year old young people are unable to control themselves and are forced to react inappropriately to a display of the Confederate flag? How can an inanimate object cause a disruption?
I think this attitude does a disservice to Monroe County's young people. If a student at Bloomington South causes a disruption because he or she is offended by a symbol, that student should be held fully accountable for his or her actions. Eventually, these young people will leave school and move into the real world, where they will not be able to run to a government school administrator and have "offensive" symbols, speech or ideas censored on a whim. Should they not be learning how to deal with these things now?
The Confederate flag has been associated with neo-Nazi and KKK groups, but the American flag is also used by such groups, as is the Christian cross. In fact, slavery existed under the American flag far longer than under the Confederate flag. Should the American flag be banned from our local government schools? Should the cross be banned?
A better solution would be for MCCSC to educate students on the War for Southern Independence and the perspective of both sides in the conflict. Most people are woefully ignorant of the South's grievances against the North, the racism in the North, and the real impact slavery had on the war. If the government schools would spend more time educating students about the Southern perspective, I believe tensions over the Confederate flag would be a lot lower.