A Virginia teenager has dropped out of high school and opted to be homeschooled instead after officials demanded that he remove American flags from his truck.
A student in Virginia said he defied his high school after administrators told him to remove the American flags from his truck Christopher Hartless said he was told to take down the flags they were a distraction but he refused, saying he was exercising his First Amendment right pic.twitter.com/g97DC2nqXI
— Carlos Perez (@CarlosP95095856) August 24, 2023
School Demands Teen Take Down Flags
Daily Mail reported that Christopher Hartless told reporters that he has no intention of taking down his American flags, as he believes that the First Amendment gives him the right to fly the flags on his property.
“My family fought for America, and I feel like I should be able to represent the flags that they fought for,” Hartless told Fox 19.
Christina Kingery, the teenager’s stepmom, explained that officials at Staunton River High School in Bedford County told him that the American flags displayed on his vehicle were a “distraction.”
“I don’t understand how it’s distracting if they have one on the flagpole that every other student can see,” Hartless lamented.
Kingery supported her stepson as he fought back.
“I told my son if this is what he’s believing in, then we are both going to stand behind him all the way,” she stated.
The school initially gave Hartless a warning, but he refused to comply with it and kept the flags up. After giving him one more warning, school officials revoked his 2023 parking pass.
Kingery explained that she did not want her stepson riding the school bus, so they made the decision to homeschool him.
“If they’re willing to change and let kids want to fly the American flag, then I’ll put him back in school,” Kingery said.
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Bedford County Public Schools has since issued a statement about the situation, saying that “Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature. Please be assured that we proudly fly the American flag throughout the school.”
The school did not elaborate on what exactly constitutes a “large flag.”
School board officials later admitted to Fox News that the American flag does not violate the student code of conduct.
“Attire that has language or images that are offensive, profane, vulgar, discriminatory, or racially/culturally divisive,” they said in a statement. “This would include confederate flags, swastikas, KKK references, or any other images that might reasonably be considered hurtful or intimidating to others.”
“It does not include wearing clothing with American flag logos or prints on attire,” they added. “This attire is allowed. Regarding flags on cars, the student parking contract, which has been used by all 3 of our high schools for many years, states, ‘Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature.’”
A Virginia teen is refusing a demand from high school officials to remove two American flags from his pickup truck, opting to leave the school altogether instead to be homeschooled.
Staunton River High School, Bedford County student Christopher Hartless said he is just… pic.twitter.com/481LgeoY4i
— D. Scott @eclipsethis2003 (@eclipsethis2003) August 23, 2023
School Board Claims To Be Patriotic
The school board went on to note their district’s patriotism policy, saying that they “proudly fly the American flag throughout the school, and the Pledge of Allegiance is recited every morning.”
If they’re so patriotic, however, perhaps they shouldn’t be telling kids to take down American flags from their cars.
It should be noted that Bedford County is home to the National D-Day Memorial, which makes this situation all the more sad and disheartening.
The plaques bearing the names of American service members killed on D-Day are on the western wall of Gray Plaza, while the names of fallen troops from the other Allied nations are on the eastern wall because Americans landed on the westernmost beaches on D-Day #MemorialInFocus pic.twitter.com/lofpUU86XE
— National D-Day Memorial (@DDayMemorial) July 22, 2023
We are unfortunately living in a time in which patriotism among young people is at an all-time low. Now more than ever, we should not be discouraging youths who love this country from proudly displaying an American flag.
Hartless sounds like a smart young man with a bright future ahead of him. We can only hope that his school backtracks and allows him to continue to show the world how much he loves America by displaying our flag on his truck.
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