Rome, Ga. – A group of Black students at Coosa High School in Rome, Ga. were suspended for planning a protest in response to a group of White students who waved a Confederate flag and used racial slurs at a school event.
The protest was planned after students were filmed waving the Confederate flag and hurling the racial slurs at “farm day”- a themed event for spirit week leading up to the school’s homecoming.
The day after farm day, several students of Black, white, and Hispanic descent went to the school administration to express their concerns over the Confederate flag and the racial slurs.
Students said the school did nothing to reprimand or punish the students who carried the flag, so they started planning a demonstration with hopes to bring awareness to the problem.
“I felt really disrespected how the school didn’t do anything about it and when we are not allowed to wear BLM stuff and they are allowed to carry a racist flag around,” a student organizer told CBS 46 Atlanta.
But before the protest could happen, a school official announced over the intercom that protesters would be disciplined.
“The administration is aware of tomorrow’s planned protest,” an official said in a recording of the announcement provided by a parent to CBS 46. “Police will be present here at school and if students insist on encouraging this kind of activity they will be disciplined for encouraging unrest.”
Students planned a silent protest anyway on the day after the announcement, and some were suspended.
Several Black students said they were suspended for protesting while white and Hispanic students who joined them were not. Some white students confirmed this was the case.
“They didn’t suspend her; they didn’t suspend me,” Lilyan Huckaby, who is white, told CBS 46. “We both disrupted all the eighth-grade classes.”
Many parents of the students supported the protest and brought the students food and water while they stood outside. However, the suspensions remain ongoing and will last from Friday, Oct. 8, to Friday, Oct. 22. The suspended students also won’t be allowed to attend the homecoming event.