A student at a charter school in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was recently kicked out of class for wearing a Gadsden flag patch on his backpack at school.
The Vanguard School demanded that 12-year-old Jaiden remove the Gadsden flag patch before returning to class because the flag had “origins with slavery” and was “disruptive to the classroom environment.”
Asked by the student’s mother if the school knew about the historical nature of the Gadsden flag, a school official stated, “The reason we do not want the flag displayed is due to its origins with slavery and slave trade.”
The student’s mother asked what would happen if he continued to wear the Gadsden flag on his backpack.
“I was actually just telling him I was upset that he was missing so much school,” the school official said. “So I asked can he just take his stuff out of his bag and go back to class, like I just want him to go back to class.”
However, the school official noted that Jaiden’s backpack “can’t go back” if the backpack continued to display the Gadsden flag.
“We can’t have that in and around other kids,” she said.
The student’s mother argued that the Gadsden flag “has nothing to do with slavery.” She explained that the Gadsden flag was a flag displayed during the Revolutionary War when the American people were fighting for freedom against the British.
Despite the mother’s explanation, the school official maintained the school’s demand, stating, “I am here to enforce the policy that was provided by the district.”
“I think it’s like one-sided,” Jaiden’s mother said, “because you allow some patches but not other patches.”
“He takes his classes seriously,” the mother continued. “He studies; he wants to get straight A’s… but it’s hard cause he keeps missing class for this. I mean, we teach him to always stick up for your beliefs, and I mean, you’re going over the Revolution for seventh grade. I mean, the Founding Fathers stood up for what they believed in against unjust laws. This is unjust.”
Following the mother’s meeting with the school official, the director emailed the mother with an explanation of the school’s policy against the Gadsden flag. The director claimed that the Gadsden flag is “tied to hate groups” and provided the mother with links to websites that states, “some may now see the Gadsden flag as a symbol of intolerance and hate – or even racism.”
The director concluded the email with a note, saying, “We truly hope to have Jaiden back at school tomorrow to resume his normal school day, but that will require this patch to be removed from his backpack.”