"Redneck Day" at Valley School, Complete With Confederate Flag, Turns Out to Be a Bad Idea
|Not an actual diploma handed out by the Grand Wizard of Queen Creek High School.|
It turns out that African-American students, parents, and community leaders, as well as people of any race with cultural sensitivities have figured out exactly where it can go wrong.
Phoenix civil-rights leader Reverend Jarrett Maupin is asking Education Secretary Arne Duncan to get involved in the matter, and tells New Times that his phone has been blowing up with people outraged about the "school spirit" event.
The Arizona Republic covered some of the controversy, as the school district's superintendent tells the paper that "the only intent of Wednesday's event was to satirize the A&E reality TV show 'Duck Dynasty,' which follows a family of duck hunters and entrepreneurs from West Monroe, La.," the report says.
Maupin's letter to Duncan (which can be read at the end of this post) notes that he ought to have a couple of allies in this fight in Attorney General Tom Horne and state schools Superintendent John Huppenthal, due to their fight against "ethnic studies" classes, which they feel promote racism.
"I know you celebrate free speech, we all do," Maupin says. "We should also defend it. But incidents like these come close to if not beyond the line of infringing upon the rights of others which, thankfully, includes the right to a racism-free and symbols-of-racism-free learning environment."
Per the Republic report, the student draped in the Confederate flag "who is from a state where the flag is more prevalent, did not see a negative connotation, the superintendent said" -- a statement that's not the least bit reassuring.
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