A Virginia high school student’s decision to fly two American flags from his truck has ignited some controversy and forced the teen and his family to make a drastic move.
Christopher Hartless, 17, said he’s simply exercising his First Amendment rights by flying the flags from his truck, but school administrators say they’re a distraction and aren’t allowed on school property.
“If we want to represent our flag for our country then we should be able to. it’s not like it has any hate or profanity to it, and I just think it’s bull crap, myself,” the teen told WFXR.
Hartless, a senior at Staunton River High School, said he was first approached about the flags on his truck two days after school started.
He refused to take them down telling officials not only was it his right, but he flew the flags in honor of his loved ones who fought for the United States.
The high school senior also questioned the school when they told him his flags were a distraction to the student body.
“I don’t understand how it’s distracting if they have one on the flagpole that every other student can see,” he said.
According to Allen Kingery, Hartless’ father, if his son didn’t comply with the school’s rules, Hartless was subject to losing his parking privileges as well as other consequences.
After being told at least one more time to take the flags down, Hartless’ parking pass was revoked.
While the teen and his family fight the school, Hartless will be homeschooled.
In response to several social media posts made by Kingery, Bedford County public schools sent out a newsletter informing parents of the student parking contract and assuring them students recite the pledge of allegiance every morning.
“Large flags or banners are not allowed to be flown or displayed on vehicles due to their distractive nature. Please be assured that we proudly fly the American flag throughout the school,” the letter said in part.
A school board meeting is planned for September 14. Hartless’ parents plan to attend.
“For him to stand up at 17 years old, and say that he, it’s his right at 17 years old, and knows how it makes us feel and knows how it makes us feel, it makes us proud,” the teen’s stepmother, Christina Kingery, said.
Do you think flying an American flag on the back of a truck is distracting or distracting enough for a student to lose their parking privileges? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.