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West Salem Students Fly Confederate Flags On School Grounds

School Officials Say Display Was More About Rebellion Than Race


West Salem High School students and their parents are voicing their concerns after several students displayed the Confederate flag on school property. Officials now say students are no longer allowed to fly the flags on school grounds.

Five students arrived at school Tuesday with full-size Confederate flags flying from the back of their pickup trucks.

Principal Josh Mallicoat said he requested the flags be removed from the parking lot after many students and parents voiced concerns about the prominent display.

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But Mallicoat said that after talking with the students, he didn’t think they meant to send a racially-charged message.

“Mostly just the Southern, country type of mentality. They like the way the flag looks, they like to rebel a little bit,” he said. “And I understand the idea of 17-year-old boys wanting to stand for something and I completely understand that , but the perception in this case was far greater than the reality.”

Mallicoat said the students removed their vehicles from school grounds rather than take down the flags. He estimates over 100 minutes of instructional time was lost due to the display.