JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami) – The debate about the confederate flag is causing controversy in a Florida high school – including one of its students.
After being told twice by his Clay High School principal this week to take down the confederate flag from his truck, Robert Martin says he plans to keep flying it.
“Where I was born, where I was raised and that flag always stays up. It ain’t coming down,” said Martin. “They pretty much told me I could suffer a referral every time I show up to school with it on my truck.”
The deputy superintendent for the school district said students are allowed self-expression but several students raised concerns about the display of the confederate flag on campus.
“If that flag offends them sitting in a parking lot. We have a problem,” said Martin’s mom Erika Willis.
She says she doesn’t think he should have to take down the flag and wants the rules to be more clear in the school’s handbook.
“They need to entirely allow it or entirely un-allow it but it needs to go one way,” said Willis.
Some people in the area think students should be allowed have the confederate flag at school.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. Everybody wants to make every situation racial and it doesn’t have to be racial,” said Archie Harrison.
“I think part of being an American is having all freedom of speech,” said Mechelle McHenry.
However, a local board chairman for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference says you can’t just do what you want on school property and the confederate flag has a history of being exclusive.
“I’m not racist at all. That flag does not stand for racism,” said Martin.
Martin said he ended up buying back his parking pass and plans to park off campus until he is allowed back on the property with his flag.