We’ve heard of school spirit day and college day, but school redneck day? That’s a new one.
An Arizona high school came under fire after members of the student council organized a school-wide redneck day earlier this week. According to AZ Central, the idea was for students to dress up like, and effectively satirize, characters from A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty,” which follows the Louisiana family responsible for a popular duck-call hunting product known as the Duck Commander.
When one student showed up at the school wearing a Confederate flag, some students, parents and teachers, were less than thrilled.
“I was livid,” an African-American mother whose son attends the school told Phoenix-based Fox affiliate KSAZ. "Nobody that I talked to thinks that that’s okay. That just symbolizes something evil, bad.”
She noted that even before a student showed up with the flag, her son found the concept of the day “degrading.”
The student who wore the flag was pulled aside by a school administrator and asked to change his clothing.
District Superintendent Tom Lindsey told AZ Central that, although the student is originally from an area where the confederate flag is displayed often, “It was explained to him that, in Arizona, we look at it differently." Lindsey also extended an apology to anyone offended by the use of "redneck."
Reverend Oscar Tillman, president of the NAACP branch in Maricopa County, where the high school is located, told The Huffington Post he was upset that the school would have allowed students to have such a day. “I formerly served on the school board and I shudder to think, if I had been sitting on the school board now, how I would have talked to some people,” Tillman said over the phone Friday.
“We live in a school district with limited diversity,” Tillman continued. He later added, "I don’t totally blame the kids, they think its funny, I blame the ones in charge who do not sit down and explain it. … I blame adult leadership there who allowed this to happen.”
AZ Central writes that the student council’s faculty sponsor approved the event.