Durham school board bans Confederate flag


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham Board of Education on Thursday voted to remove Julian Carr’s name from a building at the Durham School of the Arts and to adopt a new dress code specifically prohibiting items that “intimidate other students on the basis of race.”

The policy mentions the Confederate flag, the Nazi swastika and the Ku Klux Klan as examples.

The move came a week after the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board voted to ban the Confederate flag, and against the backdrop of days of turmoil centered around Confederate memorials.

“I think that this policy is a message to our students and to our community,” said superintendent Dr. Bert L’Homme.

Clothing likely to disrupt classrooms was already banned under the existing policy.

“I personally don’t think that this change is going to affect, on the ground, what happens in the schools,” said Durham School Board Vice-Chair Steve Unruhe, who supported the policy change. “We’re still going to be asking our principals to be making very difficult decisions.”

The vote to remove Julian Carr’s name came after the change to the dress code policy.

The town of Carrboro is named for Carr, but he’s also known for a speech he gave at the dedication of the controversial Silent Same statue on UNC’s. An online petition is calling for the monument’s removal. Hundreds of people demonstrated near the statue Tuesday evening.

It was dedicated in 1913 in memory of alumni who died fighting in the Civil War and to students who joined the Confederate Army.

According to a website sponsored by the University Library, Julian Carr said at the statue’s dedication, “100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”

L’Homme said maintenance crews would remove Carr’s name Friday before students return to school Monday.

“Confederate monuments and flags and things like that, these are all symptoms. And, removing the symptoms doesn’t cure the disease,” said Steve Barrell, who lives in Durham. “But, we really need to address the real issue, which is that essentially some people think they’re superior over other people.”

Durham resident Michael Miller said he welcomes the changes.

“It’s very important that we’re progressive, that we move forward because really a lot of people are hurt by those things,” he said. “Instead of hurting people, it’s just better to just let the past be the past.”

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