The choice of a Virginia high school student to display two American flags on his truck has sparked debate and compelled the teenager and his family to take significant action.
A Seventeen years old Christopher Hartless asserts that he’s merely practicing his First Amendment privileges by displaying the flags on his truck, while school officials argue that they create disturbances and are prohibited on school premises.
“We should be free to display our flag as a representation of our nation. There’s no hate or offensive language attached to it, and honestly, I consider it completely unfair,” the teenager expressed to WFXR.
Hartless, who is a senior at Staunton River High School, mentioned that he was initially spoken to about the flags on his truck within the first two days of the school’s commencement.
He declined the request to remove them, asserting to the authorities that it was not only his entitlement, but also a tribute to his family members who had served in the U.S. military.
The senior in high school also raised doubts with the school’s assertion that his flags were diverting the attention of fellow students.
“I can’t grasp why it’s considered distracting when they have one on the flagpole that every other student can see,” he remarked.
As per Allen Kingery, the father of Hartless, failure to adhere to the school’s regulations would have resulted in his son losing parking privileges and facing other potential repercussions.
Following an additional request to remove the flags, Hartless had his parking pass revoked.
As the teenager and his family contest the school’s decision, Hartless will receive homeschooling.
Following a series of social media messages by Kingery, Bedford County public schools issued a newsletter. This newsletter informed parents about the student parking agreement and reassured them that students say the pledge of allegiance every morning.
The letter mentioned that displaying large flags or banners on vehicles is prohibited due to their distracting impact, while also mentioning that the American flag is proudly displayed within the school premises.
There’s a school board assembly scheduled for September 14. The parents of Hartless have intentions to be present.
“At the age of 17, for him to assert his right and understand how it affects our emotions, it fills us with pride,” expressed Christina Kingery, the teenager’s stepmother.
Do you believe that having an American flag on the rear of a truck is sufficiently distracting to warrant a student losing their parking privileges? Share your opinions in the comments.