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Principal institutes ban after students wear Confederate flag to school

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Students at Bloomington North High School are banned from wearing anything that depicts a Confederate flag on campus.

Leaders with the school district implemented the ban Wednesday night after students wore the flag draped around their shoulders like a cape. The students argued that they were exercising their First Amendment rights, but Principal Jeffry M. Henderson said the decision to wear the flag caused too much disruption given the flag’s place in U.S. history.

“Throughout the day, this issue has evolved into one that has created a substantial disruption to the educational environment,” Henderson wrote in an email. “As a result, students may no longer wear or display images of the Confederate flag on their clothing or any other personal item while at school or a school-sponsored event or function due to the disruption it has created.”

Students may have worn the Confederate flag in response to an LGBT event held at the school last week. A student who spoke to FOX59 said there’s been tension over a gay pride flag flown in the library and a teacher’s room.

“I want to either have both flags banned or both flags brought back, so it's equality,” said Destiny Sherfield. “I just want equality for everyone and [to] just be able to express ourselves the way we would like to express [ourselves]."

Henderson said the flags caused several students to feel unsafe at school.

“Balancing the First Amendment rights of all individuals in a democracy can be a challenging task. Doing that with teenagers can prove to be even more challenging,” he wrote.