Was banning the American Flag un-American, or was this decision based on merit?
Travelers Rest High School students in South Carolina received permission to once again wave American flags at football games.
Lou Lavely, principal of the high school, reversed his ban on the American flag proceeding a news column being publicized on Fox News regarding his controversial decision.
Travelers Rest High School’s stadium is named after Chico Bolin, who was a decorated World War Two Marine veteran. Bolin restarted the football program at the school in 1949, and the team was subsequently named the Devildogs in honor of the Marines.
The school’s statement reads as follows:
“Today, after meeting with Travelers Rest student and faculty leadership, and with the benefit of time to reflect, Mr. Lavely has reached a different decision. He based this decision on current students’ request that he judge them on their own merits and not based on the actions of past students. As a result, effective immediately, students are allowed to bring the American Flag to any and all Travelers Rest High School events. Instead of restricting possession of the flag, the TRHS administration will, if needed, address the misuse of the Flag, or any other inappropriate behavior, on an individual basis.
Superintendent Burke Royster said that he supports Mr. Lavely’s reconsideration and willingness to respond to community input. Royster is equally appreciative for the community’s concerns regarding this matter, and that it was handled respectfully. He additionally applauds the patriotism and service as part of the school’s culture, and the students’ wishes to display the American flag. He feels it should be encouraged and supported throughout the District.
Chico Bolin died in 2007, but lived long enough to witness the school name the new football stadium in his honor. Bolin was a decorated Marine who loved and served his country.
A student from Travelers Rest High School was informed that they were not allowed to carry the flag into Friday night’s football game between their high school and Barea. It was feared that it would offend Berea’s large Hispanic community.
Several students, as it was confirmed by Beth Brotherton who is a spokesperson Greenville County Schools, that several students were blocked from entering the stadium who wanted to bring American flags.
The principal, in an effort not to cause an issue with the rival team, decided not to allow students to bring in a full-sized American flag. The students were encouraged to attend the game, but were informed that they could not bring in their flags.
This decision hit social media on Saturday in outrage at the decision.
Was this decision random or did it have merit?
The decision did indeed have merit, as during last year’s game, students allegedly waved the flag and yelled, “Go home, go home.”
The principal’s decision was made in regards to student safety. Due to prior incidents, he felt that his decision was in the best interest of maintaining a positive relationship between the schools.
Yet while his decision had some substance to it, outrage still ensued with many referencing it as simply “unAmerican”. Barring the American flag, for some, was deemed “not a correct policy”.
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