S.C. Girl protests Confederate apparel ban

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A 15-year-old girl led a small protest march Monday over her high school's ban on Confederate flag clothing, which she is also challenging in court.

Candice Hardwick walked with about a dozen people, about half of them family members and some wearing Confederate T-shirts, a few blocks to Latta High School. Hardwick wore a Confederate belt buckle and button and had the Confederate flag on her cell phone cover. She removed those items before entering the school, where she is a sophomore.

Hardwick says she wants to wear the emblem to pay tribute to ancestors who fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War. She said she has been forced to change clothes or turn her shirt inside-out, and has been suspended twice and threatened with being kicked off the track team.

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John Edward Philips - 5/24/2006

are a different issue. They should be arrested. The Confederate flag could be a history teaching moment for the whole school. Some students need to learn that the Confederacy was racist and pro-slavery. Other students need to learn that everyone doesn't understand that. All students need to develop a common dialogue about their past. All students need to learn to tolerate others' points of view.

Timothy B. Tyson - 5/24/2006

I agree that the students have a right to wear the Confederate flag. But my brother-in-law, the former school superintendent, insists with some persuasiveness that the stars and bars causes fistfights at school and always has, at least since integration. If the shirts had swastikas or said "F___ the Bible" or "Jesus sucks," he observes, the fistfights would be a problem and his point would be the same: your right to free speech at school has to be balanced against the necessities of running a safe school. He also points out that the students who wear the Confederate flag in honor of their "Southern heritage" rarely know the first thing about the Civil War or Southern history and culture. So while I am with the ACLU and the kids, I think, I just wanted to say a word for the people running the schools, who have a pretty hard job.

John Edward Philips - 5/24/2006

Much as I despise the Confederacy and everything it stood for, I have to look at this as an open and shut free speech case. I also have to wonder why she doesn't enroll the ACLU on her side.