A South Carolina school has lifted its ban on student cars flying the American flag after the local community and students protested the decision.
School officials at York Comprehensive High School told 18-year-old Peyton Robinson to remove the flag he was flying on his pickup truck because of safety concerns.
The move sparked protests on Thursday and, following a social media campaign in which members of the community rallied to back Peyton, the school backpedaled on its policy. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Supporters of the high school senior drove in convoy to York Comprehensive to protest the decision.
2. Peyton Robinson, 18, (pictured) was told by teachers at York Comprehensive High School in York county he needed to take down the American flag flying on his pickup.
A school administrator decided to take Peyton’s flag down after telling him he needed to remove it.
While Peyton was not present, the official unscrewed the bolts securing the flag and set it down in the bed of the truck. In an interview with WBTV, Peyton said he was told that:
We’re having some issues with people complaining on the flags in your truck.
Later the school claimed that the flags were a safety concern. Superintendent Vernon Prosser said in an interview with WSOC that flags could block the view of other drivers and cause an accident.
3. Peyton said he understood that flag was big, but added that no one had complained it would be a safety hazard before.
4. Veterans and other members of the community supported the protests and many saluted the flags as they went past.
The student, who has relatives who served in the military, said:
I was pretty mad. I don’t see how it is a problem. Nobody has ever complained about it before.
I mean, I understand it’s a big flag — it’s 4 by 6 — but nobody has complained about it being in their way or anything.
After the disagreement with his school, Peyton took to Facebook to explain the situation. As a result, students promised to fly their flags at York Comprehensive and on the following day more than 70 vehicles waving flags drove in convoy to protest outside the school.
5. The protests gained momentum after Peyton explained how he had been asked to remove the flags on social media.
6. The cars — about 70 — drove to the parking lot at the high school to show their solidarity with the 18-year-old.
James Crump, a parent of a York Comprehensive High School student, took part in the protest. He said he was very angry when he first learned that a student had been asked to remove the flag from his truck. He said:
[W]hen you start talking about the flag that so many [have] died for and these students wanting to honor the flag, of course us as parents [are] going to stand behind them.
Following the protests, the school officials have been forced into an embarrassing about-face. The school’s principal said:
School officials have reviewed the standing policy regarding flags and have decided that an exception will be made for the American flag, as long as the size of the flag(s) does not create a driving hazard.
7. Peyton Robinson speaks about the incident with the school banning him from flying the American flag on his truck.
8. Following the protests which led them to reverse the ban, the school posted this explanation on Facebook.
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