A high school in Michigan was forced to close after some students parked their trucks decorated with Confederate flags outside of the campus for two days.
As a result of the threatening gathering, classes at Bay City Western High School were canceled by the district superintendent, Stephen Bigelow.
Apparently, there were rumors floating around about planned confrontations with students, which also prompted the abrupt closure.
Six trucks, which were all either flying Confederate flags or were painted with the racist flag, parked outside of the high school on Tuesday and were joined by several others on Wednesday as a counter-demonstration took place nearby.
A student who was flying the Confederate flag, Cameron Myers, claimed his flag was ripped off his car while parked at school last week. He insisted that he and his comrades weren't trying to intimidate anyone by brandishing the flag.
"It's not about racism; it's a country boy thing," Myers reportedly said.
He added: "If we were going over there and saying racist slurs and cussing them out, that would be another thing.”
However, other students felt quite differently.
"We have such a small minority population of students, and we're in a conservative area," said Kendrix Szilagyi, who organized the counter-protest and deemed the Confederate flag display "racism."
Another indication that this ordeal went beyond a simple student demonstration is the fact that most of the trucks that sat outside the campus didn’t even belong to students.
"The majority of the people who were out there weren't actually students of ours," Bigelow told the Associated Press on Wednesday, referring to the owners of the vehicles. "For the most part, the majority of our students were inside doing the right thing."
Ironically, Michigan has traditionally been a blue state with its majority voting Democrat in six consecutive presidential elections from 1992 to 2012. Yet, President Donald Trump was able to flip the state during his campaign, beating out Hillary Clinton by a mere 0.2 percent.
Perhaps it's no coincidence that the slight shift in political views throughout the state is reflected in the behavior exhibited by these Confederate flag-waving Bay City Western students. And it's no secret that Trump ran for president on a platform of racism, and race relations throughout the country have only gone downhill since then.
Hopefully, with maturity and education, these teens will eventually see the error of their ways. Our society cannot afford for another generation to carry on the racist legacy of United States history.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Patrick Feller