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View Full Version : Tennessee Teen Fights For Right to Wear Confederate Flag



megimoo
08-13-2008, 08:37 PM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Tommy DeFoe wore his Southern pride on his Confederate flag belt buckle Wednesday as he argued in federal court that a school dress code banning such items violated his free speech rights.

"I am fighting for my heritage and my rights as a Southerner and an American," said the lanky DeFoe, 18, during a break in his trial.

DeFoe says his great-great uncle served in the Confederate army and "died for the South" in the Civil War.

But heritage was not the issue for Anderson County school officials who suspended DeFoe more than 40 times before he received his certificate of completion from the county vocational school last fall.

DeFoe's trial, which began Monday and is being heard by an all-white jury, is the latest in a string of cases across the South since the 1990s challenging dress codes that banned Confederate flag apparel: a prom gown in Kentucky, purses in Texas, T-shirts in Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia.

It is unusual for such cases to go to a jury trial, however. Most were settled with a payment to the plaintiffs, said DeFoe attorney Kirk Lyons, who has been involved in many of the cases as chief trial lawyer for the North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center. Others were thrown out by the judge.

DeFoe's lawyers claim the issue is whether the school system can ban the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism to some, if it causes no substantial disruption, Lyons said.

But officials in Anderson County, in East Tennessee not far from Knoxville, said they feared racial tension and violence if DeFoe continued to wear his Confederate flag shirts and belt buckle to class.

All sides agree his clothing failed to draw much notice at Anderson High School, where one of 1,160 students is black, or at the vocational school, where all 200 students are white.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,403425,00.html

llongoria
08-13-2008, 10:10 PM
I think the boy has a right to wear it if he wants to, BUT, the liberals want to suppress our rights to anything that doesn't benifit themselves. Dress codes need to be kept simple. The way the school ninny systems have them set up, you almost can't wear nothin, cept clinton buttons or vote for obama t-shirts. Now its okay for kids to come to school with Martin Luther King clothes on aint it?
Heck, it's a part of that boys HERITAGE for crimney sakes. His granddaddy is a hero in his eyes. The left nut libbies gotta go in there and just bust that boys chops right on up and make him feel bad , not only about his heritage for crimney sakes, but standing up for his own rights. Good for him. I say keep on challenging that dad burn dress code till the sissy libbies get it right.
aughta be like this:
No baggy pants falling down showing your butt.
No dresses or skirts above the Knee.
No spaghetti straps
Nothing showing "breastesess"
And nothing conveying anything illegal, or violent.
easy cheesy simple deesy.

Eyelids
08-13-2008, 10:17 PM
If you're in HS you play by the rules of the school or leave. He's 18, he can always drop-out (this is the South...) if he doesnt like it.

llongoria
08-13-2008, 10:22 PM
True, but they make the rules so darn hard to understand or follow. Have you picked up a book of school clothe rules lately? bout near 150 pages long in some cases.

cowbell
08-13-2008, 11:10 PM
school dress codes are not THAT hard to follow. i mean, hes 18, if he cant understand a few pages about acceptable fashion at that age i dont know whats going to happen to this country.

NonConformist
08-13-2008, 11:38 PM
Keep willingly tolerating loss of rights for 'reasonable reasons' and see what happens

Im offended by ghetto culture yet they could wear their X, so why couldnt i wear mine?


Heres some food for thought-


"when they took the Jews away, I did nothing because I am not a Jew.



When they took the homosexuals away, I did nothing because I am not a Homosexual.



When they took the communists and anarchists away, I did nothing because I am not a Communist or Anarchist



When they came to get me there was nobody left to help me."


And for those still confused, its an issue of incrementalization, it doesnt bother you now but when they say you cant wear whatever you'll sing a different tune

John
08-14-2008, 07:29 AM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Tommy DeFoe wore his Southern pride on his Confederate flag belt buckle Wednesday as he argued in federal court that a school dress code banning such items violated his free speech rights.

"I am fighting for my heritage and my rights as a Southerner and an American," said the lanky DeFoe, 18, during a break in his trial.

DeFoe says his great-great uncle served in the Confederate army and "died for the South" in the Civil War.

But heritage was not the issue for Anderson County school officials who suspended DeFoe more than 40 times before he received his certificate of completion from the county vocational school last fall.

DeFoe's trial, which began Monday and is being heard by an all-white jury, is the latest in a string of cases across the South since the 1990s challenging dress codes that banned Confederate flag apparel: a prom gown in Kentucky, purses in Texas, T-shirts in Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia.

It is unusual for such cases to go to a jury trial, however. Most were settled with a payment to the plaintiffs, said DeFoe attorney Kirk Lyons, who has been involved in many of the cases as chief trial lawyer for the North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center. Others were thrown out by the judge.

DeFoe's lawyers claim the issue is whether the school system can ban the Confederate flag, a symbol of racism to some, if it causes no substantial disruption, Lyons said.

But officials in Anderson County, in East Tennessee not far from Knoxville, said they feared racial tension and violence if DeFoe continued to wear his Confederate flag shirts and belt buckle to class.

All sides agree his clothing failed to draw much notice at Anderson High School, where one of 1,160 students is black, or at the vocational school, where all 200 students are white.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,403425,00.html

Holy hell where has this country gone?

I'm not saying one side of this argument is more correct than the other, I'm just saying where in the hell has the student body gone?

Where are the mock trials? Where is the student legislation, the god damed self reliance of student council who were supposed to be teaching these kids hard earned life lessons at their age and grade. There shouldn't be oppression 'unconformity laws'! There should be litigation at the student level.

If the purpose of high school student is to learn life lessons than this would have made a wonderfully educative mock trial with the student council serving as members of the court. The arguments of free speech and self heritage could have been addressed and weighed as the students saw fit, against the need for a peaceful and monolithic learning experience.

It really saddens me that these so-called educators felt the need to treat some students as heroes and some as criminals instead of warping the whole scenario into a positive learning experience. I think the idea of pitting racial desperation against the idea of communal pride would be a great exercise in thought amoung those who didn't have the need to think along those lines regularly.

FlaGator
08-14-2008, 07:55 AM
Holy hell where has this country gone?

I'm not saying one side of this argument is more correct than the other, I'm just saying where in the hell has the student body gone?

Where are the mock trials? Where is the student legislation, the god damed self reliance of student council who were supposed to be teaching these kids hard earned life lessons at their age and grade. There shouldn't be oppression 'unconformity laws'! There should be litigation at the student level.

If the purpose of high school student is to learn life lessons than this would have made a wonderfully educative mock trial with the student council serving as members of the court. The arguments of free speech and self heritage could have been addressed and weighed as the students saw fit, against the need for a peaceful and monolithic learning experience.

It really saddens me that these so-called educators felt the need to treat some students as heroes and some as criminals instead of warping the whole scenario into a positive learning experience. I think the idea of pitting racial desperation against the idea of communal pride would be a great exercise in thought amoung those who didn't have the need to think along those lines regularly.

They'll be banning lots of our apparel because of political correctness if a few on this message board have their way. Wait till they start forcing blinky to use a belt and keep his underwear under wraps. He'll be fit to be tied.

biccat
08-14-2008, 08:20 AM
I do think that the schools have an obligation to limit student's right to free speech. Some may not agree, but I think that schools should require students to dress appropriately for school.

This is so far ahead of the line of inappropriate that it is laughable. Schools should regulate the type of speech - nothing patently offensive ("F*** [fill in the blank]"), and nothing threatening ("Bring your grand dragon to school day"), but that should be the extent of school regulation of what kids can wear.

It sounds like the only people upset over his stars & bars buckle were the effete teachers, and they shouldn't invent outrage if the student body isn't adversely affected.

linda22003
08-14-2008, 10:00 AM
As one post here vividly demonstrates, literacy skills in the south are of far more critical concern than dress codes.

Rebel Yell
08-14-2008, 10:03 AM
Styelids is all about suppressing anything that shows a white person is proud of his heritage. Let's take away "black pride" from the schools and see what he does. He'll jump up and down and cry racism. Unfortunately, racism only works one way. A teacher tells the local gang banger to pull his britches up or that he can't wear his "Malcolm X: By any means necessary" T - Shirts(which is what they wore when I was in school), and that's racist and suppressing his expression of pride. A white kid wants to wear a Dixie Outfitter shirt to school, people applaud the school for not allowing racism in the school. You don't see anything wrong with that? All I want is equal rights to be equal rights and not preferential treatment.

My niece attends a private school that has always allowed the students to wear Dixie Outfitter shirts. Well, this year they have one black student in the school. Dixie Outfitter shirts are no longer allowed. That is bullshit. All that does is put more attention on the one black kid who, as far as I know, has said nothing about the shirts. I told my niece it's not his fault, that people just tiptoe around anything that could be misconstrued as racist. She know's the shirts aren't racist, her's are frickin fast pitch softball shirts (she's 13 and pitching for high school varsity this year). So, I went and bought her two of these to wear this year.


School Protest Shirts
Dixie Outfitters supports all students who wish to show their pride in their Southern Heritage by wearing shirts to school that feature the Confederate Battle Flag.

We believe that banning of the Confederate Battle Flag by public schools is a violation of students right to freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Further, these unconstitutional bans discriminate against persons of Southern heritage and are an insult to those who have Confederate ancestors. Such discrimination is a violation of the Civil Rights act of 1964.

These bans perpetuate ignorance and misunderstanding about the true history of the Confederacy and the Confederate Battle Flag. It is the mandate of public schools to educate its students in true history. The Confederate Battle flag is a historical flag of the Southern soldier who fought for the principles espoused by the founding fathers of the United States. Historical facts, not politically correct positions, should be taught by our schools.

It is not the mandate of our public schools to deny its students of the fundamental freedoms enjoyed by American citizens. It is not the mandate of our schools to deny Southern students symbols of their heritage while allowing other ethnicities their symbols of heritage. Public school students who are denied their freedom to express themselves should protest this injustice.

Dixie Outfitters new series of shirts called " Public School Protest Shirts" are designed to help students who feel abused and discriminated against because of their Southern heritage. These shirts do not contain the Confederate Battle Flag, but they do effectively communicate your feelings regarding the trampling of your rights.

We encourage you to make your feelings known to your school through these shirts. We offer them at a special price of $5.00 each.

http://www.barbershopping.com/pgi-CustomListTrans3?S,DOmen,DO_Items,2,157,=,DO,&,158,=,DO-PC

Odysseus
08-14-2008, 11:26 AM
Holy hell where has this country gone?

I'm not saying one side of this argument is more correct than the other, I'm just saying where in the hell has the student body gone?
Where are the mock trials? Where is the student legislation, the god damed self reliance of student council who were supposed to be teaching these kids hard earned life lessons at their age and grade. There shouldn't be oppression 'unconformity laws'! There should be litigation at the student level.
The last thing that we need is to teach students to ligitate their lives. Where are the self-correcting forces of school thuggery? Where are the vicious gangs of minority youth? When I was in high school, standards of conduct were enforced by school bullies. Anything that made you stand out would get your ass kicked, especially anything that was calculated to offend. What a nation of whiners we have become when we cannot solve a problem this simple with a beat down.

They'll be banning lots of our apparel because of political correctness if a few on this message board have their way. Wait till they start forcing blinky to use a belt and keep his underwear under wraps. He'll be fit to be tied.
Expressing your ethnic pride is okay so long as your ethnicity isn't white. If a Latino kid wore a Mexican flag belt buckle, the school would be bending over backwards to accomodate him. All of this argues for a return to school uniforms with no individual accomodations. The purpose of a school is to educate in fundamental skills, not to promote cultural Balkanization.

As one post here vividly demonstrates, literacy skills in the south are of far more critical concern than dress codes.
It's not like the schools in the north are any better. Between teachers' unions that have their hands in everything but the education of students, administrators that are too cowed to promote common sense and school curricula that are designed to perpetuate PC ignorance in the name of diversity, environmentalism and promotion of self-esteem, we have completely abandoned the function of public schools, which was to provide a unified curriculum that would teach critical skills in the context of a uniquely American culture. The poverty of reading, writing and math skills is matched by a complete ignorance of civics, economics and history.

jinxmchue
08-14-2008, 11:47 AM
If you're in HS you play by the rules of the school or leave. He's 18, he can always drop-out (this is the South...) if he doesnt like it.

You dumbass liberal hypocrites would never say that to or about some young feminist wearing a "choice" t-shirt.

Rebel Yell
08-14-2008, 11:52 AM
You dumbass liberal hypocrites would never say that to or about some young feminist wearing a "choice" t-shirt.

Or some gangbanger wearing an Africa shirt. By the way, the south's drop out rate is inflatedbecause of the percentage of the population that happen to be black.

YupItsMe
08-14-2008, 12:28 PM
As one post here vividly demonstrates, literacy skills in the south are of far more critical concern than dress codes.


Your a bit of a snob, "ain't" cha?

linda22003
08-14-2008, 01:19 PM
No, I just like people to be able to express their thoughts in basic English, and it pains me when people demonstrate that my expectations are too high. One example is when they use "your" when they should use "you're".

NonConformist
08-14-2008, 01:20 PM
Yeah because literacy is so high in the inner city! :rolleyes:

Rebel Yell
08-14-2008, 01:24 PM
No, I just like people to be able to express their thoughts in basic English, and it pains me when people demonstrate that my expectations are too high. One example is when they use "your" when they should use "you're".

Most people just post what they're thinking as quickly as they can. I post the same as I talk, admittedly not proper English. When you actually hear the word you're or your, you don't hear the apostraphe, so it tends to get left out. If you can't figue out what he means, then you need a refresher in reading comprehension.

linda22003
08-14-2008, 01:29 PM
I post the same way that I talk, as well. Some people are pretty lax either way.

Rebel Yell
08-14-2008, 01:33 PM
I post the same way that I talk, as well. Some people are pretty lax either way.

As long as I get the point across. And I know that's you're pet peeve.:p

linda22003
08-14-2008, 01:34 PM
As long as I get the point across. And I know that's you're pet peeve.:p

I'd like to think that was done deliberately, but I wouldn't actually put money on it.

Rebel Yell
08-14-2008, 01:36 PM
I'd like to think that was done deliberately, but I wouldn't actually put money on it.

Your to kind, Linda90210.

biccat
08-14-2008, 02:07 PM
I post the same way that I talk, as well. Some people are pretty lax either way.
I find that hard to believe. In fact, I'll go ahead and say that there is no way that you post the same way that you talk.

And I'm not making a snide comment about typing with your hands versus speaking with your mouth.

linda22003
08-14-2008, 02:11 PM
The way I "sound" online is the way I sound in person. Why would that be hard to believe?

biccat
08-14-2008, 02:14 PM
The way I "sound" online is the way I sound in person. Why would that be hard to believe?

Becausethenallofyourpostswouldlooklikethis. Innormalspeechwerarelymakeactualdistinctionsbetwee nwords.

Also, you probably don't use grammar properly when you speak.

Reading and writing are wholly different mental exercises than speaking.

linda22003
08-14-2008, 02:16 PM
Becausethenallofyourpostswouldlooklikethis. Innormalspeechwerarelymakeactualdistinctionsbetwee nwords.

Also, you probably don't use grammar properly when you speak.

Reading and writing are wholly different mental exercises than speaking.


I pace my speech well, since I speak in public pretty frequently. If you think I do not use proper grammar in everyday speech, you did NOT know my parents. :eek:

biccat
08-14-2008, 02:23 PM
I pace my speech well, since I speak in public pretty frequently. If you think I do not use proper grammar in everyday speech, you did NOT know my parents. :eek:
When you speak, your mind automatically anticipates the next sound that it has to make, and forms your mouth accordingly. Unless you stop after each word, you are not speaking like you write.

Also, I find it hard to believe that you can speak with semicolons and apostrophes.

Goldwater
08-14-2008, 02:28 PM
I pace my speech well, since I speak in public pretty frequently. If you think I do not use proper grammar in everyday speech, you did NOT know my parents. :eek:

No Linda, I am your father.

:eek:

linda22003
08-14-2008, 02:31 PM
My father has no use for computers, and would have less than no use for them if he knew boards like this existed. :p

YupItsMe
08-14-2008, 04:56 PM
No, I just like people to be able to express their thoughts in basic English, and it pains me when people demonstrate that my expectations are too high. One example is when they use "your" when they should use "you're".



They're, their, there, Honey. Don't worry your pretty little head over it. It's just a message board. :)

AmPat
08-14-2008, 08:46 PM
If you're in HS you play by the rules of the school or leave. He's 18, he can always drop-out (this is the South...) if he doesnt like it.

I'll get worked up over this as soon as there is as big a hullaballoo over sagging pants. Of the two, I'd opt for the belt buckle.:cool: