A Virginia high schooler, Christopher Hartless, is now being homeschooled after refusing to remove two large American flags from his truck. Officials at his previous school, Staunton River High School, had demanded that he remove the flags from his truck because they were a distraction.
Hartless considers it a first amendment issue and said, “My family fought for America, and I feel like I should be able to represent the flags that they fought for.”
The school made a statement to the local media and to parents of the school that student parking contract explicitly bans all large banners and flags on vehicles for safety reasons.
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According to the News & Observer, the letter to the parents said, “The BCPS Code of Student Conduct prohibits Attire that has language or images that are offensive, profane, vulgar, discriminatory, or racially/culturally divisive. This would include confederate flags, swastikas, KKK references, or any other images that might reasonably be considered hurtful or intimidating to others.”
The letter continued. “It does not include wearing clothing with American flag logos or prints on attire. This attire is allowed. Regarding flags on cars, the student parking contract, which has been used by all 3 of our high school for many years, states, ‘Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature.’”
Hartless refused to move the flags after being told to do so multiple times. In response, the school revoked his 2023 parking pass. Instead of riding the bus or getting a ride and continuing to go to the school, his family, who supports him on this issue, has decided that Hartless would be homeschooled.
His father said, “First you can’t fly the flag, next you can’t do this, next you can’t do that, sooner or later you’re not gonna have no rights at all, and then where are we gonna be?”
A school board meeting on September 14th will include attendance by the Hartless family and undoubtedly many other patriotic students and parents in the community who most likely don’t agree with the school’s flag ban. But like many other school boards across the country, it’s unknown if the board will care what the parents have to say.