According to CBS46, Black, white, and Latino students allegedly planned a protest after school administration failed to discipline the flag-wavers for the display and for spewing racial epithets at Black students.
The Floyd County school’s administration prohibited the students from protesting after hearing of their plan. They issued suspensions after the students commenced with the protest.
“I feel the Confederate flag should not be flown at all. It is a racist symbol and it makes me feel disrespected,” said student organizer Jaylynn Murray who says four students were flying the flag on a spirit day called “farm day.”
“I felt really disrespected how the school didn’t do anything about it and when we are not allowed to wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ stuff and they are allowed to carry a racist flag around,” said student organizer Deziya Fain.
A recording of an announcement over the school intercom was shared by CBS46, demonstrating where a school administrator warned student organizers that they would be punished if they tried to protest.
“The administration is aware of tomorrow’s planned protest,” the administrator announced, stating it would not be “allowed” at Coosa High.
“Police will be present here at school and if students insist on encouraging this kind of activity they will be disciplined for encouraging unrest.”
Student organizers went to the office to request time with administrators about the protest plans and hand over any flyers promoting it. They argued with administrators about the lack of disciplinary action taken against students using racial slurs.
The students say only Black organizers were suspended. White and Latino students were not suspended despite also being “disruptive and argumentative” with administrators, they told CBS46.
Lilyan Huckaby, who was also protesting outside the school throughout the day, pointed out the unequal treatment made by the administration. “They didn’t suspend me and I was yelling and loud. It’s because I’m white! We’re not allowed to wear Black Lives Matter shirts or the LGBTQ flag, but kids can have Confederate flags and they have said nothing.”
Several Black parents shared how they were notified about the suspensions by sheriff’s deputies coming to their homes. One parent said an officer pulled her over while she was driving to inform her that her daughter was being suspended.
Other parents brought the student organizers water, ice, and food throughout the day and helped monitor the demonstration.
Floyd County School officials and communications teams had yet to make a public statement or explanation.
According to the 2020 Georgia State Board of Education collection of data, Floyd County Schools holds the highest suspension rate by race and ethnicity, with 8% for Black students; 6% were students from two or more races; 4% were white, and 2% were Hispanic students.
The kids will now have to miss homecoming because their suspension extends through Oct. 22nd.