Parents Defend Controversial T-Shirts - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Parents Defend Controversial T-Shirts

One of the contested T's. One of the contested T's.
Students rallying last week. Students rallying last week.

The Confederate flag is a battle all too familiar to people in the Palmetto State. But the battle's in the classroom in Beaufort County. School officials don't want students to wear the Confederate battle emblem on their shirts. WTOC found parents pushing the issue, and they promise that they're not going to stop until they get what they want. They say the school board policy is against their rights as Americans.

While the Beaufort school board discussed the dollars and cents of this year's budget, those parents were upset with the direction they had chosen.

"In the words of the President Bush, these kids won't go silently into the night," said parent Randy Corbitt. "They are the ones who are mad."

They were so upset last week, kids and parents protested to show the school board how they feel about not being able to wear Dixie T-shirts.

"These kids have nothing to do with hate," Corbitt said. "My kids aren't racist."

This week, parents like Corbitt are back. His daughter Elizabeth, 14, is suspended from school again for what Corbitt says is simply being proud of her heritage.

"She got kicked out the other day for wearing that shirt," he said. "She's going to wear it two days from now when she goes back to school, and she intends to wear it again and get suspend again for five days, and then again and get suspended for the year."

And Corbitt says he's prepared to back his daughter even if that means looking for legal help.

"I encourage everyone, whether you're black, Hispanic, or whatever, that is a flag that represents you are from the South," said Corbitt.

Of course not everyone feels that way. The school board plans to send letters to those parents by the end of the week with their response, but these parents already have additional action on their minds.

Reported by: Ryan Young,

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