Opponents of Confederate flag in Orange Co. schools march to meeting

Photo of the march by Michael Hyland/CBS North Carolina

EFLAND, N.C. (WNCN) – Students and parents who want the Confederate flag banned in Orange County’s schools marched to Monday’s school board meeting, demanding action after months of urging the board to make a decision.

“They need to be aware of the things that are said in the hallways, things that are said to students of color,” said Marilyn Allen, a student at Orange High School.

Several members of the Hate-Free Schools Coalition addressed the board Monday night.

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Supporters of the Confederate flag who have attended past meetings did not attend Monday.

Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were on hand to provide security. Members of the North Carolina Tactical Response Force Militia attended a meeting two weeks ago, prompting the additional security.

Monday’s meeting came ahead of a work session scheduled for next week, in which board members plan to focus on the issue.

Four experts on the First Amendment have been invited to speak and give insight on implications of a potential ban. The board will also consider potential revisions to the district’s dress code policy as it pertains to symbolic speech.

The work session will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, at Gravelly Hill Middle School.

Board member Matthew Roberts expressed concern about holding the work session at the school while classes are in session, noting the potential for disruption. The superintendent said he’d look into other possible locations. However, the board did not vote to move the meeting.

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