Bentonville High Takes Confederate Flags Off Student’s Vehicle

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The Bentonville School District removed two Confederate flags from a student’s vehicle at Bentonville High on Wednesday (June 4), according to Mary Ley, spokeswoman.

The student arrived at the school Wednesday morning with two Confederate flags flying from the back of a sport utility vehicle.

Ley said the school’s resource officer was sent out to take down the flags.

She said the school district doesn’t want anything to hinder the learning process.

“We’re sorry for anyone it offended,” Ley said.


    • Sheri

      I agree with Kim. Just who was offended? Maybe the school needs to teach history a little more thorough.

      • Jimmy Bob

        Who’s offended? Are you kidding me? A whole race of people where refused be let free under this flag and even after that minorities didn’t have equal rights until the sixties. When they tried integrating schools this flag was flown in places like Ole’ Miss. Rascist often fly this flag when they are having demonstrations. So why would anyone be offended? Give me a break.

      • MikeW

        doesn’t matter what it says…It can’t talk…Its perception but doesnt harm anyone. That is BS

    • Brian Haslip

      The First Amendment (aka the “Free Speech” Amendment) protects you from government prosecution for your speech. It doesn’t apply in this case at all.

      • Madison

        No, under the first amendment you also have the freedom of expression and I no believe that he was expressing himself.

    • Jerry

      The school has policies in place for these things. When your at school you have rules you have to abide by. When you go to work their is policies and rules you have to abide by. You can’t just fiction work and say whatever you want and expect not to face consequences for your words. So why would you expect your children not have to abide by the policies and rules set in place? After he leaves school he can fly those flags wherever he wants but once he is on school property he has to abide by the rules set in place. This has nothing to do with free speech.

    • Heather

      These kids that keep doing this seem like spoiled kids just trying to get attention like all these other kids calling in bomb threats.

    • Jimmy Bob

      This flag represents slavery and anybody who doesn’t think that the civil war was over slavery I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona I’ll sell you.

      • Son of The Confederacy

        You need to go back to school if you think the conderate flag represents slavery had absolutley nothing to do with slavery its people like you that give the south a bad rap read your history book again its people like you that have put this great nation in the shambles its in quit listening to the main stream idiots and research for yourself the South Will Rise Again

      • Jack

        The confederate flag is not a symbol for slavery it is actually a symbol for southern pride. He was wrong to do it at school but other than that he was just showing southern pride

      • Wayne

        More amusement to me. The flag did not have anything to do with slavery. The fact remains that less than 5% of the people in the south held slaves. If people would take the time to read history, not babble thats in the text books, they would also find out that the first slave owner that was documented in the US was a black man… Hmmmm

      • Arnold Fudpucker

        Afraid you are wrong again. Check your history and don’t rely on the kool-aid e mails. By the way you left the extra O out of the Bob part of your name.

    • Jimmy Bob

      These are the same people who want there 2nd amendment rights protected under a different flag.

    • Jimmy Bob

      I can’t believe how many people is ok with these kids breaking school policy. Way to set a good example for your kids. When you go to work do you not have to abide by rules set in place by your employer? Do you just get to say whatever you want without consequence? It is the same for our children at school they have rules they have to follow.

    • mark

      excellent point on above comment. did the school admin inform the student 1st of their intention? if not, i object. also, the district policy needs to be in place before acting. something similar occurred recently in another district….i;m sure this will bring many heated comments. i will step aside on those….

  • Judy Leach

    It’s the end of school for goodness sakes. The vehicle is in the parking lot so how will that gender learning. I think there will be more talk and disruption over the flags being taken than if they would have left them alone. Why stir up trouble where there wasn’t any. I disagree with them being taken.

    • brndn220

      Its people like you that our rights are being taken away. Someone tries to express themselves and can’t. No one says anything but “who cares” sad.

  • Mark Smith

    To all of the above. The level of ignorance in the area again astounds me and represents Arkansas position of 48th in the country in Education. Only the ignorant would fail to see the offensive nature of this flag as it was paraded when the worst abuses of civil rights occured in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. You can’t cite partial history. You have your kin of those times to thank for ruining any Nobel cause (which there isn’t one) this flag may have represented in the past. Crack a book.

    • brndn220

      It doesn’t matter if it offends anybody, we have a thing called freedom of expression. I guess you didn’t know that though. People out here have heritage that leads back to the Confederate days. I guess since it offends people we don’t have the right to express ourselves.

      • xcrimsonxguardx

        just a guess like your rant but, maybe because when y’all express with yalls flag thousands of ppl die, all the time and ppl didn’t forget. that is not even the real southern flag, to begin with, soo…. heritage i doubt it. or you would know that.

      • Sarah 1

        Where do you get this freedom of expression?
        You let me know since I like learning something every day.

        Against the Confederate flag. Historical yes, flown on cars and homes, no.

      • Jimmy Bob

        He was at school on school property. Does that not mean anything to you? As soon as he leaves he can fly those flags wherever he wants, but while he is at school he has to abide by the policies set in place. This has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

    • Fate

      That flag is part of history as it pertains to the civil war, was it used by racist as a symbol of hate yes, so does that mean that the pictures of the flag in the history books used to learn about the civil war are evil and spreading hate? should we get rid of that block of instruction? You sir need to crack a book…

    • Teach

      Completely agree, not to mention the fact that the U.S Bill of Rights does NOT apply at the following locations…in the military, in prison or at PUBLIC SCHOOLS! And please let’s not start with the “learn your history” nonsense, to cover up what that flag has represented with this cult of “southern history” is to cover up the atrocities and horrors that have been perpetrated in it’s shadow. Shame on you.

      • Wayne

        Totally amazing many of the responses here. First of all that flag shown is the Confederate Battle flag, NOT the flag of the Confederacy as there were three of them. For those that say the civil war was about slavery, try states rights. Fact is less that 5% of the southerners owned slaves. The Supreme Court refused to try President Jefferson Davis, because they knew under the constitution the government did not have a valid case, and the Chief Justice refuse to take it any further. Slavery was flourishing in the north. The emancipation proclamation only freed slaves in the states that left the union. Mr Lincoln did not free slaves in the Union.

        Shall we remove the Arkansas state flag? The top most star above the word ARKANSAS stands for the Confederacy.

    • HaydenHodges

      Mark Smith,

      I am exhausted at how you continue to belittle our state. I am also hoping that you find a new cliche other than your favorite “crack a book”. I doubt, however, that I can change your minimal idea soapbox.

      I am educated. I have a great job. I make good money. I am humble. Also, I was born and raised in rural Arkansas. I’ve stated this all to you before, however you never seem to respond to a well formed response.

      Everyone, please forgive me for my off-topic tangent. My deepest apologies.

      God Bless!

      • Mark Smith


        At least I’m trying to do something about the lack of education or rather lack of appreciation for education in the area by addressing the issue. You on the other hand support the status-quo. Shame on you.

        I guess you’re ok with babies having babies (late 30 yr old grand parents) and all the damage that results in those generations. I suppose it doesn’t bother to read news stories that are poorly written with many many grammatical errors, mis-spellings, etc.

        Again, if you are educated, then you should know better.

        Shame on you.

        Btw – repetition has been shown to be necessary to get to the uninformed hence the tagline.

      • HaydenHodges

        Mark Smith,

        Thank you, Sir. Thank you! Thank you for finally taking a stance and making a point rather than sling insults at an entire state (I do not mind your attempt at insulting me).

        You, kind sir, do not know what tires me. You do not know what I support. You do not know what measures I take within public education for their financial (and thus our children’s educational) gain.

        I can agree to respect your stance on the grammar alongside the teen pregnancy. More respectful points like this will be the only option to save this Country in which we live – not derogatory comments. This is simply my opinion.

        Shame on me for standing up (which will always be status quo) for my state though.

        God Bless,

  • proud south

    It is a shame the our public schools have no clue of the real history as such things as flags. Why is it that our children are forced to celebrate others cultures but made ashamed to be proud of their own?

    • xcrimsonxguardx

      Quick question about that flag? why worship it?oh and when did anyone in the south care about freedoms all they want is a theocracy not democracy the ones who worship the flag that is, so now there trying to hide behind the country they were trying to destroys rights?am i missing something, i think its funny that anyone says that there heritage, when they cant trace any prof. i guess generalizing the south into one culture has always been there dream, but it didn’t even happen when they were flying that flag, do you think it will happen now , lol no, the south is not one nation under a limited groups flag ,never was not even in the civil war, so again why?

  • Tony

    Maybe some students should fly the African flag or Mexican flag just to see if they’ll be asked to remove them. I bet not

    • joesumone

      There is no African flag. There are, however, flags from countries that are on the African continent.

    • brndn220

      I bet you are right, because you know that it would offend people but it won’t be taken down.

    • A Reyes

      I don’t see the problem with anyone decorating their vehicle how they want. I’m American-Mexican, and Confederate flags don’t offend me at all. I don’t understand people’s hypersensitivity about it. It is a point of pride for some Southerners. There is a history there and if they choose to show their “roots” that is up to them. I take no offense to that. I’d only find it offensive if they engaged me in a hostile manner. Otherwise, what does it hurt?

  • King Glenn

    Another way it can be looked at is if a black man wears a shirt in public that says black power no one says anything,but if a white man wears one that says white power he is a racist at the very least if not a nazi. We have gone so far with political correctness that now we punish any white man for any expression or celebration of his heritage. Let’s throw out all the political correctness and replace it with moral values and except everyone on the content of there character,integrity and honesty.. and not worry about there personal expression no matter what they are.

    • Jimmy Bob

      King Glenn, blacks did not enslave whites for hundreds of years that’s why if you where a shirt that says white power your considered a rascist. I think that most people would consider a black person wearing at shirt that said black power a rascist too but this boy was not on the street he was at school. With all these comments just proves how controversial this subject is and believe this what the school was trying to avoid by letting him fly these flags.

  • Cathy

    This is so wrong! That is part of our heritage, and rather you like it or not, I have the right to display my pride in being a southerner! If we have to remove synbols of our heritage, then blacks shouldn’t be allowed to wear afros and those and twist their hair into dread locks, since that’s why they do it. And because it might offend someone, maybe kids shouldn’t be allowed to wear mohawks or mocassins, might offend my strong Native American heritage. People nowadays are too soft and wimpy, too “politically correct”. How about using some COMMON SENCE instead?

    • xcrimsonxguardx

      maybe because that flag does not represent the south culture never has except to the few who ignore the real southern flag, which is not the confed one

  • Gail

    Why would anyone, regardless of the “free speech” issue, want to do something that they know is offensive to many people? Are they going to be flying Nazi flags as well? Perhaps the IRA flag? Why?

  • James

    “To tar the sacrifices of the Confederate soldier as simple acts of racism, and reduce the battle flag under which he fought to nothing more than the symbol of a racist heritage, is one of the great blasphemies of our modern age”.
    James Webb-Secretary of Navy And Assistant Secretary of Defense under U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former U.S. Senator (D.VA.)

  • Tom

    High schools kids (and most adults) are using this as an attention getter and it worked! I guarantee that it is not about their heritage. It is just to see who can make the most noise, the so called offended or the rednecks! Yes, I fit in the redneck crowd so I am not offended by the flag but at the same time I dont drive around with it just to make noise!

  • Bossfella

    People do realize that freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can say and do whatever you want, right? It just protects the government from punishing you for it. And children aren’t offered the full rights of the Constitution, especially when they are on a school’s property.

  • Chris

    The last few days of school there is no “learning process” occuring anyway. The school officials need to man up and tell the truth, That they are terrified that someone will become offended at the sight of this flag flying, because they teach liberal common core curriculum instead of actual historical fact.

  • Elaphas

    More liberals stirring the pot. “We don’t condone that.” Okay, panderer. Now run down to Laredo and hold a sign at the border, “Come to Bentonville and take jobs away from Americans; they’re just a bunch of racists who fly Rebel flags.”

    • xcrimsonxguardx

      you have it backwords like always, they responded(school right or wrong) not instigated, the flag waving or carrying in a car are the ones stirring this pot you talk of. but you know that i bet.

  • Linda

    Would they have taken them if it were a rainbow flag?? I would call that destruction of property or even stealing.. It’s History and you can not change that. I am a proud southerner

  • Ted

    It’s not without irony that also on this day (the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre) we have Chinese nationals marching around Fayetteville with their flag like they own the place (which thanks to Walmart I guess they do). Meanwhile in Bentonville we have government employees overreacting to a juvenile prank. What’s next Bentonville, taking down the Confederate soldier statue on the square because someone might be offended? The plaque may read “They Fought For Home and Fatherland.” but the truth is they weren’t fighting for state’s rights or because of Northern aggression. No, they were fighting for the right to own another person based on the color of their skin. I’m offended by Bentonville’s hypocrisy.

  • Current Student at BHS

    I am a student at BHS and I completely agree with the administrations actions. They did not take away the students flags nor did they reprimand him for it; they just took them down because the potential danger or harm it can bring to students at the school due to the offensive characteristics commonly associated with the flag. This student is allowed to fly the flag wherever he wants outside of school grounds.

    For the people stating comments that it’s a violation of the freedom of speech and the school does not have the right to do that, you have to do your research before you make these claims. This decision was based off the Tinker v. Des Moines U.S. Supreme Court case that defined the constitutional right that school officials may not prohibit student speech unless it disrupts education. Although it is hard to argue that it disrupts education in the classroom, this flag and the negative attributes associated with the flag creates an unnecessary scene on school grounds.

    I am white and was raised in the South and I’m proud of it, but the school officials did the right thing in this case.

    • Sarah 1

      Excellent reply. I hope you further your education and do well.
      My best to you for your outstanding words.

    • Jessica Shipman

      How sad is it that the Adults, the Parents, the ones that are supposed to be raising and teaching the children of today, are corrected by the child?

      Open your eyes. We are in a new world. the pettiness and inequality of the past will soon be forgotten. Listen to your children- they have voices that WILL and SHOULD be heard.

    • curious citizen

      A quick question if you will allow me to ask, what if the flag were an American flag with the stars and stripes being proudly flown? Maybe a Marines, Navy, or Army flag to support troops? Would the same action be taken to remove these flags? Would these be considered “offensive” to someone who is a “conscientious objector” to war? I am not looking to stir up anger, I just would like clarification. Thanks.

  • Panamai

    When I was in high school, the principal confiscated two books from me, “The Satanic Bible” and “The Satanic Verses.” What do all you free speech champions have to say about that? If you guys want to embrace slave ownership as a part of your culture, go right ahead, but don’t expect people to be ok with it.

  • proud south

    Panamai, you need to do some reading on history…that flag does not stand for slave ownership. (in the beginning of its history , anyway) It was narrow minded idiots who use it as a tool for such things. Get educated on history as well as your satan stuff.

  • riwieneke

    Let’s establish Facts: The Civil War WAS NOT over Slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation: “The Proclamation only applied to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed), nor to Tennessee (also unnamed), and specifically excluded counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia. Also specifically excluded (by name) were some regions already controlled by the Union army.”

  • real

    That flag represents hundreds of years of slavery from whites towards blacks. If thats what you call pride then you dumb dumbs have a lot to learn learn. Lol. Furthermore I’ve never understood the purpose of the flag still being around this is the United States of America the land of the free not the Confederate states of America. Flying that flag is like flying a taliban flag bunch of terrorist. If you don’t like America than move back to Europe. Those who agree with the flag probably wish you had some little black house slaves also. Yes sir master. Lol.

  • Jessica Shipman

    “The flag will never be an acceptable symbol, neither to Northerners, civil rights activists, or African-Americans. Sure, the flag no longer means the enforcement of slavery to most of the Southerners that associate with it, but some things will never change to those on the outside who view it.”

    Maybe show your “Southern Pride” by flying your State Flag, which isn’t associated with any negative energy, and still allows you to show your love for your heritage.

    • xcrimsonxguardx

      Jessica just educated you on the right flags, so lets see you ignore her like i know you will and argue,because we know your only care about making a new country not American heritage or freedoms. thank you nice lady on the proper education of there southern flags , at least you tried.

      • Jessica Shipman

        There is so much unnecessary anger. I, as a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, would never disrespect the name of the Soldiers who fought for what they believed in. However, we are now a more EDUCATED people. Lets put our past behind us, move forward as one Nation, and work towards a better future for our children.

  • Fate

    if the student who had the flag taken is 18yrs old then they have full constitutional rights under the law…look it up dumb dumb. Guys slavery happened, get over it, no one owes you anything now, stop using it like it effects you on a day to day basis. Free speech protects you as long as it isn’t hate speech or causes a panic/mob. Simple display of a flag, is not inciting a riot or calling for death or violence. Waving that flag while you watch down the street yelling for hangings and lynching of folks white or black is, and wouldn’t be protected. If the student had a flag from Iraq/Iran or other middle eastern country and the administrators took it i would protest just the same.

    • Roddy Hovey

      You need to “get over” 9/11. It happened it’s done, seriously, get over it.I bet you got a stupid “never forget” 9-11 T-shirt. Your “get over it” argument is pathetic.

  • kawkeb

    Jessica did not do any educating on the flag…that article is only one writers opinion…not good research at all on the true meaning of what was intended for the flag mentioned in this report…you guys are not as intelligent as you would hope. So , xcrimsonxguardx ….you just wasted your time with a dumb comment. Those with an education would know the proper resources for study….

  • Jessica Shipman

    Isn’t the point of a post to state your opinion/speak your mind/share your beliefs? My post was not to “educate” anyone on the history of the flag, only to assist in explaining my opinion. Half of the people that have responded have complained about their freedom of speech. agreed, everyone has the right to speak their mind. However, it is disrespectful and discourteous to tell another Neighbor and fellow American that their post/opinion/comment is “dumb” or they are stupid, etc.. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. To insult another person’s intelligence, one you do not even know, for being courageous enough to stand up and say what they believe in only shows how uneducated you are, and you have my sympathy.

  • atl_ar proud

    My daughter graduated from this school and proud she did this year. I am also a African american minority from Atlanta. If you want it to be okay that f flag flown be on vehicles at schools or wherever then be okay for the responses negative or positive. Freedom of express or speech comes with consequences good and bad,so be ready to handle it with maturity and understand everyone may not share your expression.

    • Levi

      I agree with this, everyone has the right to their opinion, however I will say in the USA, its a person constitutional right to fly that without recourse. The teachers should have came to the student first and foremost, and spoken with parents. They had no right to touch the students property without permission, same as the student must give permission to allow them to enter their vehicle.

  • Charlie

    GET SMART – The students should secure a parking space on nearby private owned property and then walk to school leaving their flags to fly high. Then they could file criminal charges on anyone taking them down. Better yet, have a flag rally after school on private property and invite the “open carry” folks to attend. This could get real interesting.

    • Trish B.

      Get smart Charlie. No person on private property adjacent to the high school would allow you to fly the Confederate flag on your vehicle unless it is your relative.
      You are not old enough to know about homeowner’s insurance but insurance might frown on the deed as well since it would be deemed a ‘nuisance’ by some. Lots of ramifications you will learn as you grow up.

      • Fire the admin who made this call

        Lol ramifications? Do tell. Please.

        I disagree with your comment regarding adjacent property. Most property owners would gladly welcome these young men who are simply expressing themselves. Agree or not, Americans have that right .

  • atl_ar proud

    @ charlie I doubt it. Across the street lives a lot of minorities and they are in townhomes that are being rented. So try something else. This area is a known retail area, that doesn’t need the drama.

  • Sam M.

    First, this is not the Confederate flag. It is the Confederate Battle Flag. The Confederate Flag still flies inconspicuously over many public buildings in the South. It’s referred to as “Stars and Bars”, Google it. The Battle flag has been used by more armies than just the Confederate South. Second, they have NO RIGHT to take his flags down, however I believe they have every right to ASK, or REQUIRE the owner to take them down, or LEAVE. Third, If this flag is banned from public property, then all flags EXCEPT the STATE and U.S. flags should be banned from public property. The U.S. has been to war with Mexico and Great Britian in the past too. What if someone starts to fly these flags next?!!! Lets nip this in the bud before someone flies other old flags and offends someone else.

  • sad truth


    • nikki

      Go Johnny reb really people we live in the south if you don’t like the flag move to the north lol

  • Wayne

    I am still amused by those calling the battle flag the Confederate flag. it was the battle flag. There were three national Confederate flags, which the flag the students were flying was not one of. Please do not call the flag these students were flying the STARS and BARS, as this flag is not that. The Stars and Bars was the first national flag.

    Couple of questions 1. Would you want to change the Arkansas State flag? The star on top of the work Arkansas represents the Confederacy!

    2. Am a considered a Southern redneck for proudly flying a Cherokee Brave flag or the Choctaw Flag. BTW, for those of you who do not know, the 5 civilized tribes fought under the the Confederacy…. The men of the these tribes fought under their national flags.

    Much much education is needed here in regards to the Confederacy and what the War Between the States was actually about.

  • Panamai

    It’s not about the Civil War as much as it’s about modern usage of the flag, starting in the 1950’s during Civil Rights protests. This flag was never even used as an official flag of the Confederacy.

  • Jessica Shipman

    Yes everyone has the right to express themselves, but they also need to respect the feelings of others around them. The flag may be an innocent expression, but we must also remember the negative connotations that go with it. It is not always the MEANING that matters the most, but the PERCEPTION.

  • brandon

    1. Freedom of speech
    2. This is the south! YeeYee!!
    3. BHS is a bunch of repulican liberal commie fuckers

  • Susan Brodie

    I think it was the right call. If I owned a confederate flag, I would not display it out of respect for those who had ancestors who had to endure slavery. The only reason I would own one is because it was modeled after the flag of Scotland, & I am of Scottish ancestry.

    • Sarah 1

      Thank you Susan. So very true.

      For so many people this flag is a reflection of an era of misery and pain.
      There is enough pain in the world. Peace and calm is needed.

  • Samantha

    I think the flag is beautiful. I have family there, here in the southern states & northern states. Most of you guys seem to forget that it wasnt just the black people who were slaves. Whites were slaves to other whites, mexicans were slaves. We all were slaves to colors. The only thing is we arent constantly throwing it up in the other people’s faces or teaching our children to do that to other children like I grew up having that thrown in my face. I live in Oklahoma & I am proud of my southern heritage. If it was the first flag made of the first 13 colonies would you still be having this argument that some even say that confederate flag of the 13 colonies represent slavery too. It doesn’t! What about the actual United States flag? The one with all 50 states? You see how ridiculous this is? Its a flag of his family background that this kid is proud of. Shouldnt we all be able to so our pride & heritage in some way? It shouldn’t be disrupting any of the learning if its in the student parking lot. The front office should have let the student know what was going on before sending security or an office administration person was going out there to take it off the vehicle & give that student a chance to go out there and remove it himself or give permission to do it because if they didnt it could be a problem for the school (so to speak). I would say I personally give kuddos to this kid for being proud of who he is & where he came from. I am just curious how this is detrimental to the learning of the other students? How is it the schools teach the children the histories of this & tell them to be proud of who they are and when they show an ounce of pride they get reprimanded for it?

  • Levi

    I agree with Samantha here. The flag is by no means bad. I live in South Carolina now, grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas, I am now in the heart of the south, heck in both Charleston and Beaufort SC you can see where they sold slaves. Its history and its the past and that’s where it will remain. Now we should just look at it as a symbol of our past, or a symbol of our family. Not all confederates were slave owners, in fact many of them weren’t. If I were this students parents I would raise a huge stink at that school. Oh and by the way, look at the state flag for Mississippi. See that, it has a portion of it as being the confederate flag. Its not offensive in any way, the only people who could be offended by this, are obviously not very well educated.

  • Levi

    Also, that student could get with parents and file charges on the school for tampering with private property. They are supposed to have the students watch anytime they search lockers or vehicles, and this includes the exterior. If an insurance company said that it was a nuisance and docked a home owners insurance for that, the homeowner should probably report that company.

  • Trish B.

    It is not private property if on school grounds. If you don’t want your toys played with, keep them at home or off taxpayer funded school grounds.

Comments are closed.