Carroll schools mull Confederate flag ban
Carroll County public school officials said this week they’ll study whether the school system should bar students from displaying images of the Confederate flag on shirts or accessories in county schools.
At a meeting of the county’s school board where several people spoke in favor of such a ban, Superintendent Stephen Guthrie and board members expressed interest in having the district’s legal staff study the matter.
Guthrie said he hoped to revisit the issue at a February meeting.
Nearly a dozen people spoke on the topic at Wednesday’s board meeting, all in favor of some form of ban. Mel Brennan, a parent of a Westminster High School freshman, said his daughter deals with seeing students with Confederate flag paraphernalia every day. He said that as a mixed-race child, she considers it hate speech.
“This is of course unacceptable,” Brennan said.
Guthrie said three years ago he looked into banning Confederate flag symbols in schools, but at the time was told by legal staff that he could not.
He cited recent actions around the country removing Confederate-era symbols — and Gov. Larry Hogan’s support for the removal of the statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in Annapolis — and said, “I think it is now time to do another analysis.”
Guthrie said he wanted to begin a review process, one that would include public discussion.
In his comments, Brennan said he believes the Confederate flags falls under an existing school system dress code provision against “symbols or messages generally accepted to promote intolerance, hate, racial slurs, or sexual harassment.”