Orange County Schools will not move to ban Confederate flag

A photo from Latarndra Strong of an Orange County student wearing a Confederate flag shirt at school.

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Orange County School Board said Tuesday it will not ban the Confederate flag after hearing complaints over the last several months about the symbol being displayed at schools.

The Board said in a release it has been asked to institute a system-wide ban of the Confederate flag after hearing complaints from parents and a group, The Hate Free Schools Coalition.

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Orange County Schools’ staff will review and investigate the concerns about the flag being displayed on campuses, the Board said.

“We believe our principals are best equipped to monitor and respond to issues of bullying, harassment or other disruptive conduct…” the Board said in a release. “The Board and administration believe the best way to effect positive change in the behavior of students is through the programmatic steps it is taking and not by banning a particular symbol.”

School districts such as Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public Schools, and Wake County Schools have not banned the Confederate flag.

“This approach is consistent with the guidance of our experienced school board attorney,” the Board said.

The Hate Free Schools Coalition has been pushing to ban the Confederate flag from schools in Orange County.

RELATED: Group seeks Confederate flag ban in Orange County schools

Latarndra Strong, a parent of an Orange High School student and co-founder of the Hate Free Schools Coalition, was shocked to see Confederate flags at her daughter’s school.

“A student had a flag on a pole on his truck as he entered into the school,” she said. “The first day I thought, this is weird. Second and third day, I said ‘I better go in and talk to the principal about it.'”

Her talk with the principal didn’t go far.

Strong sent CBS North Carolina a photo of a student wearing the flag in school Monday.

“The Confederate flag has two meanings,” Strong said. “One of them is associated with pride and Southern heritage. But unfortunately, the other one is oppression for people of color. So, it made me feel awful.”

Earlier in the week, the school board said its stance was the same as what was announced Tuesday.

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