An Arizona high school sophomore is defending his right to fly the rebel flag on his truck after school officials banned it for supposedly causing a fight, a local Fox affiliate reported.
“I am not a racist,” Jacob Green of Goodyear, Ariz., told Fox 10 News on Thursday. “I researched it. The flag means basically more independence, and less government. It didn’t mean racism. It didn’t mean slavery or any like that. It meant that what they were fighting for was to be more independent and not to have a government control them.”
Reflecting an all-too-common mindset, Agua Fria Unified School District Superintendent Dennis Runyan said the flag created “an environment where it was disruptive,” according to Fox.
Green was banned from displaying the flag after an altercation between him and another student, whom Green said picked a fight over his flag.
“He confronted me. He hit me first. I was defending myself,” Green told Fox. “They’re taking away my First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.”
Both boys involved in the fight were suspended for five days. But Green appears to have suffered the worst punishment.
“The school district says it can limit students’ rights while they’re here on campus, especially when it comes to safety of the students and past court cases about this same subject — the Confederate flag on school campuses, backs that up.”
“I’m not gonna take the flag off my truck for somebody telling me to do it,” Green told Fox. “I believe in independence.”
While a student fights for his rights, some adults may be trying to restrict them, but Green appears to have the support of his parents. In fact, Fox reported that Green’s mother and father believe the other student’s assault amounted to a hate crime, and they are considering filing a police report.
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