UPDATE: York School District 1 has reversed its decision prohibiting students at the district’s only high school from driving onto campus with flags attached to their vehicles.
Following vocal opposition from the community at the start of school Thursday, the district released the following statement:
Over the last 24 hours, an issue has been brought to light regarding our policy of flags not being allowed on our students’ vehicles in the student parking lot.
Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy.
School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard.
As administrators of York Comprehensive High School, we are extremely passionate Americans and have deep seeded feelings of patriotism. We promote the good citizenship in our classrooms, fly the American flag in our rooms, in front of the building, and on our athletic fields. We have a student lead the pledge of allegiance every morning.
We appreciate the passion and pride of all who have called or come by YCHS over the past 24 hours. America was founded by Patriots who led positive change in a myriad of ways. We believe today is a great example of peaceful demonstration leading to positive change. This is the very process we advocate in our Social Studies classrooms and the fabric of American citizenship. Thank you for helping us as we educate the students of our community.
Social media was ablaze Wednesday afternoon after a student at York High School posted to a social media site he was told to remove the full-size United States and Prisoner of War flags mounted in the back of his truck.
Peyton Robinson, who WRHI has not yet spoken with directly, posted a photo of a waving flag in the back of his pickup truck, adding, “Still flying and it ain’t coming down.”
BELOW: Robinson’s Instagram post
One of Robinson’s friends, Chayton Hawk, confirmed that Robinson was approached by school officials who asked him to remove the flag from his truck.
York Schools Superintendent Vernon Prosser said he could not comment on a specific incident involving a student, but that all students were reminded Wednesday afternoon of the truck bed flag ban.
“It’s a busy intersection at dismissal,” he told WRHI. “The students were told that their patriotism is always appreciated but having a flag flying in the back of a vehicle in the school parking lot is a violation…of our rules.”
Hundreds of students — mostly juniors and seniors — drive to school, Prosser said, adding he hoped that Wednesday’s discussion would become a teachable moment for the school’s 1,500 students.
“The biggest thing is that in any company that we work for, there are always rule put in place for the safety of an employee or, in this case, a student. And sometimes you have to abide by those rules. That will always occur out in the workplace.”
WRHI has confirmed a 7 a.m. Thursday demonstration at the flag pole at York High School where parents and students plan to voice their concerns with the district’s policy.