Albemarle County Student Sent Home for Refusing to Take Off Hat with Confederate Imagery
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County student was sent home Tuesday after a Confederate imagery clothing ban went into effect for the entire school division.
School leaders moved in quickly early Tuesday, March 12, to enforce the new ban. A spokesperson says the unidentified high school student was asked to remove his hat with the Confederate insignia.
When he refused, school leaders called his parents. The student's father said he would not tell his son to take the hat off, and signed his son out for the day.
"If he had chosen to remove it and not worn it the rest of the day, then that would have been the end of it," Albemarle County Superintendent Matt Haas said. "When he comes back without the hat on, or any other attire that represents white supremacy, Nazi-ism or the Confederacy, then he can come back to school."
"It’s a subjective decision made by government official, and at that point it can be dangerous because, again, the First Amendment allows us the right to do peaceful assemble, peaceful expression, and live our lives under a democratic society," said John Whitehead, the Rutherford Institute. "They should be individualized cases. If someone is disrupting the education environment of the school, yes that can be dealt with, but just banning all images… what we have here is we don't have an objective standard."
The school division says this was the only reported incident Tuesday.