A pro-LGBT stunt at a Missouri high school backfired recently when students responded by hoisting the rebel flag.
A student at West Plains High School first handed out small pro-LGBT rainbow flags on Dec. 9, according to KYTV.
It didn’t take long for other students to rebel.
The next day, a group of rebellious students raised a Confederate flag in the school’s lunchroom, the outlet reported.
This display appeared to divide the school right away.
“I was kind of mad because you can have your flag and that’s fine but it’s like they were using it as retaliation,” sophomore Rose Schilmoeller, who originally handed out the rainbow pride flags, told KYTV.
Schilmoeller said she distributed nearly 60 of the pro-LGBT flags.
“It’s like they were mocking us,” another upset student, Taylor Pool, told KYTV, “but not only was it that they were mocking us, they also brought in a completely different subject because people were offended by the type of flag they had.”
Although administrators apparently did nothing about the rainbow flags, the Confederate banner was confiscated and the situation investigated.
“The West Plains School District has been made aware of recent displaying of flags on the high school campus during school hours,” a statement from the West Plains School District read. “While we are unable to comment specifically on an ongoing investigation, all board policies will be followed. The West Plains School District is committed to addressing the concerns being raised by our students, parents, and community.”
“The safety and education of our students is our utmost concern. We will continue to be proactive in our efforts to keep students safe, while providing them with the highest-quality education.”
Thankfully, these students didn’t burn the pro-LGBT flags like a man in neighboring Iowa decided to do.
After his stunt, he was slapped with 16 years in prison (his sentence was tripled because he was designated a “habitual offender” after two previous felony convictions) and a “hate crime” conviction that will follow him around for the rest of his life.
This comes at a time when Confederate flags and symbols are under increased attack.
In some places, statues that have stood for over a century are now at risk of being taken down and their memory forgotten.
Those who display any flag associated with the Confederate States of America also open themselves up to scrutiny and possible attack.
It’s still unclear what will happen to the students who hoisted the rebel flag in Missouri.
Hopefully, their freedom of speech will be protected by the school district, as well as the media and politicians who help hold school officials accountable.
If not, these students may have a fight on their hands.
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