Parents outraged over student’s Confederate flag mask demand action

Mid-South

OAKVILLE, Mo. (KTVI) — Parents are demanding action from administrators at a Missouri high school after a senior student wore a Confederate flag face mask to school.  
 
One parent said the student showed up at Oakville High School wearing the mask and was allowed to continue through his school day.

“So what type of message are you sending to my child by allowing another child to sit in the classroom with this mask on,” asked Tamica Harding, the mother of a student who was in class with the Confederate mask-clad student.

Administrators started looking into the incident after students began texting their parents. Then, parents began to contact the school.

Harding said her daughter felt hurt, frightened and intimidated. She called the school, but two hours passed before she got a response. Schools officials said once an investigation began, the student had already exited the building for an off-campus program.

Tamara Sunkett, the school’s principal, emailed parents, saying, “Confederate symbols are steeped in racism and infringe upon the rights of all to feel safe and respected.”

Mehlville Schools Superintendent Chris Gaines echoed those words in a statement: “The matter has been addressed with the student and his family.” Gaines said the student won’t be allowed to wear the mask when he returns to school.

Even parents outside of the school district are joining the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League in saying that’s not enough.

School officials declined interviews. A district spokeswoman said the apparent lack of response by teachers remains under investigation and will be addressed as a personnel matter.

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