School tells student to remove Confederate Flag from truck
by Ryan Naquin
"She’s my baby that’s for sure," said Ashton Jacobs. The baby he’s talking about his is truck. His truck that he says shows his pride.
"It has such an appeal to it," he said, "and it just feels good for me."
On his truck that is caked with mud from four-wheeling in different places in Horry County, his friends have written their names in the dirt.
But it’s not what is written on the side that’s gotten him in trouble lately.
"If this would have never happened, then there would be no controversy over it. I wouldn’t flaunt it or anything. I just put it on my truck because I like it."
Earlier this month when he brought his truck with the confederate flag in tow to his school, he says the Carolina Forest High School Resource Officer told him he had to take it down.
"I was like alright. I just called my mom and told her they told me to take my flag down."
But while the young man obliged to take down the flag, he and his family still don’t agree.
"I’m sorry if the Confederate battle flag offends people. I really am," said Ashton’s mother Selena Jacobs Wilson. "But I want people to know that I am here to tell them that it has only got to do with our heritage, and that is it."
"It still equates down to, it’s a place of learning," said Horry County School Board Member Joe Defeo. He represents the district Carolina Forest High School falls under.
Ashton was forced to take down the flag because it could be offensive to others, said Defeo.
"I understand quote unquote free speech, but you have to remember the Supreme Court already said there is not unlimited free speech in a school" said Defeo. "It’s a place of learning that’s it."
But limited free speech anywhere is why the family is hiring a lawyer.
"I just simply want the school board to let these kids have a freedom of speech," said Wilson. "Whether it be if they want to fly the Mexican flag, the American flag, the Italian flag whatever it may be. To a point, let them have a freedom of speech."
Anytime he’s not at school, Ashton plans to keep his flag right where he wants it – in the back of his truck.
A flag that represents his pride but can often represent another man’s pain.
"It’s just a symbol to me personally," said Ashton.
© Copyright 2011 Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC