‘Overtly racist’: Virginia students display Confederate flags during Spirit Week

‘Overtly racist’: Virginia students display Confederate flags during Spirit Week
Student showed off Confederate flags during Spirit Week at a Bedford County school.

BEDFORD, VA (WDBJ) - Many expressed outraged after a social media post showed students posing with Confederate flags at Jefferson Forest High School.

The post has been shared more than a thousand times.

“This is a wound that’s been allowed to feaster,” said parent Lyman Connor. “It was people walking the halls with Confederate Flags ... in the cafeteria.”

I'm seeking some public support for my daughter and other children of color attending Jefferson Forest High in Forest,...

Posted by Lyman Alan Connor on Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Connor says enough is enough.

He says his daughter and other students at Jefferson Forest High School have been bullied by racism.

On Tuesday, Connor took to social media, sharing photos and writing that the school has quote “overtly racist students.”

The photos were taken on Monday during Spirit Week.

They show students posing with Confederate flags on school property.

"Well, it’s just a flag,’ no, understand the past history, this is something that’s been going on constantly.”

Connor’s post garnering more than 1,500 shares and many expressing outrage.

Bedford County Public Schools officials say they were unaware the photos were being taken. They released a statement on Wednesday saying:

On Monday, February 4, 2019, several JFHS students displayed various flags, photographed themselves with the flags, and then posted those images on social media. This posing, photographing, and posting was not reported to staff on Monday, as it occurred in a matter of seconds. Though our school and student population was and has not been disrupted by the posting, we have received considerable concern about the post from parents and others in the community related to the theme of the post and what they believe it implies about our schools and community.

Any time our staff witnesses or receives a report of any disturbing behavior, we investigate the matter immediately and take all appropriate action, as we have done in this case. It is troubling to see what has transpired on social media following the incident, as what has been alleged by many is simply not true and in no way reflects Jefferson Forest High School and the high standards we hold for our students and staff.

Ensuring the physical and emotional safety of our young learners is always our top priority, and we will continue to work with our entire school community to foster a climate where everyone feels welcome.

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