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District responds after student wears Confederate flag mask to Oakville HS

"This is not a situation we take lightly. Confederate symbols are steeped in racism," Mehlville School District Superintendent Chris Gaines said
Credit: File image
File photo.

OAKVILLE, Mo. — The Mehlville School District is responding after a student at Oakville High School was seen wearing a Confederate flag face covering on Wednesday.

The school said when it received a call from a concerned parent about the Confederate mask, they found the student in question had already left for the day.

They also said the school has now addressed the matter with the student and his family, and he will not be allowed to wear the mask on campus going forward.

Here is the full statement from Mehlville Superintendent Dr. Chris Gaines:

"Yesterday, Oakville High School principals received a phone call from a parent concerned about a student wearing a confederate flag face covering. When an administrator began investigating, he found the student had already left campus for the day. This is not a situation we take lightly. Confederate symbols are steeped in racism. This and any such symbols of disrespect are offensive to students and staff and infringe upon our belief that everyone deserves the right to feel safe and respected in our school communities. The matter has been addressed with the student and the student’s family. When the student returns to campus, he will not be allowed to wear the confederate flag face mask. Our dress code does not support clothing items that create a disruption on our campus."

The Missouri chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Missouri) also issued a statement on the Confederate mask at Oakville High School:

"CAIR-Missouri commends the rapid response of Oakville High School Principal Tamara Sunkett and Mehlville Schools Superintendent Chris Gaines to address a disturbing incident in which one of the school’s students showed up wearing the Confederate flag mask. We welcome Principal Tamara Sunkett’s statement that, 'Confederate symbols are steeped in racism and infringe the rights of all to feel safe and respected," CAIR-Missouri Associate Executive Director Marwan Hameed said.

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