Civil War Erupts Over Confederate Handbags

Jim Douglas, WFAA-TV (Dallas), Jan. 6, 2006

BURLESON—Two North Texas high school students who were kicked out of class for displaying rebel flags vow to take their fight to court. They said they are proud of their heritage, but Burleson High School education officials maintain the Confederate symbol is offensive.

Ashley Thomas remembered how it all started. “Principal comes up and says, ‘You’ve got to get rid of your purse . . . it’s racist.”

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Ashley was sent home three times this week. “I’m at the point where I really don’t know what to do,” she said. “I want to keep going to school and get my education, but this is my life. I was born and raised in the South. Why is the flag so bad?”

Here’s the answer, from Burleson ISD spokesman Richard Crummel: “It’s a violation of the dress code,” he said. “We don’t want students to wear anything that might cause a disruption, and that symbol has done that in the past.”

“Then that’s a heritage violation on her, on me . . . on all of us,” said Aubrie’s father, Rick McAllum. “So we can push it.”

McAllum belongs to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Ashley’s mom, Joni Thomas, is from New York. But the parents of both girls praised their daughters, and vowed to fight.

“I’m hiring a lawyer,” Thomas said. “I’m going all the way with it, because I think it’s wrong.”

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