St. Anthony's students suspended for Confederate flag display
St. Anthony's High School has suspended two seniors for displaying a Confederate battle flag during a sporting event, and the school's principal strongly condemned their action in a letter to parents.
The two boys walked into a European handball event Wednesday night with the flag draped around their shoulders, Brother Gary Cregan, principal of the school in South Huntington, said Monday. A teacher immediately stopped them, removed the flag and escorted them out, he said.
There was no violence and police were not called, Cregan said. Black students who were present reacted with "heroic restraint" to the incident, he said.
The two students were suspended immediately, the principal said.
Monday, after consulting with other school officials, Cregan imposed a total of 10 days' suspension. He said he hopes to hold a meeting with the two seniors and other students to see if the suspended students have learned from the incident. Further action could be taken, he said.
"The use of any symbol, either historic or current, which carries a meaning designed to revive past injustices or to inflame discrimination or racial intolerance, is completely unacceptable and profoundly offensive," Cregan wrote to parents in a letter dated Friday.
"As a Catholic and Franciscan school, Saint Anthony's will always demand acceptance and respect for all races, religions and cultures," he wrote.