Girl suspended over confederate flag shirt

Nov. 14, 2011 at 5:40 PM
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EAST WINDSOR, N.J., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The mother of a teen suspended from school for wearing a confederate flag shirt says she may pull her daughter out of her New Jersey middle school.

Torri Albrecht, 14, was suspended from East Windsor's Kreps Middle School on Nov. 7 for wearing a sweatshirt with a confederate flag printed on it, The Times of Trenton reported.

The girl's mother, Jane West, is now saying she may withdraw Albrecht from the school even though the school insists the flag, viewed by many as a racially charged symbol, was not the reason they suspended the girl.

"They're saying that now because they know they really went too far this time," West said. "If there wasn't a problem with the sweatshirt, why did the vice principal call at 10 after 8 on Monday to demand that I bring a change of clothes for my daughter?"

"He told me he had a bunch of students and a bunch of teachers come into his office to say they were disturbed by it," she said.

West said although many see the confederate flag as a symbol of racism, her daughter was wearing it to show her heritage and pride in being from the south.

"The Indian kids wear their turbans. The Jewish kids wear their yarmulkes. That's their birthright," she said. "I told him that Torri was born in Virginia. That flag is her heritage and I'm not telling her to take it off. He said, 'I guess she'll have to suffer the consequences.'"

Kreps Principal Lori Stein called West the day after the suspension to tell her the school had changed its stance on the sweatshirt.

"She said that after careful consideration she decided that if Torri wears the sweatshirt, it might not be liked but that [Stein] would look the other way and allow her to wear it," West said.

Yet, West said she's not sure if she will accept that solution.

Albrecht will be moving to Virginia in December to live with her older sister, West said. Until then, West said she is considering home-schooling the 14-year-old.

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