by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:Maple Valley, Wash. —
Two 11th-grade students at Tahoma High School were suspended for wearing Confederate flags to school. A school district spokesperson said the two juniors brought the flags to school on Tuesday to make an anti-gay statement.
Chad Blenz saw a student wearing a Confederate flag around his neck as Blenz went to class on Tuesday.
They said two 11th-grade boys wore the flags in a common area of Tahoma High School around about 50 kids and some of them started getting upset. Tiki Scroggins, who was picking up her nephew, pointed out the flag is often seen as a symbol of slavery and racism. "I can see where we wouldn't OK that -- there's too many ethnic backgrounds that that could offend," Scroggins said.
The school district didn't want to comment on camera. But a spokesperson told KIRO 7 by phone that a 10th-grade student had been displaying a gay-pride flag for the past two weeks. He said the Confederate flags were the two boys' answer.
"I think that in that sense it's wrong and should be suspended," Scroggins said. "It's about the attitude."
Students said they talked about it in class and discussed whether it's freedom of speech or offensive. "I see two different sides to it," Chad Blenz said. Supporters argue the flag is representative of the South and its battle in the Civil War.
While students say they see the flags in cars and trucks and flown at football games, some do think this was different. "You don't expect kids to show up with a Confederate flag on their back," Coleman Wooten, a student in 12th grade.
The school is not releasing the boys' names. They are suspended until Monday for violating the dress code and causing a disruption.