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Tahoma High School Students Wear Confederate Flags In Alleged Anti-Gay Statement

10/11/2013 03:10 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Two 16-year-old students are up in arms because school officials suspended the pair for wearing Confederate flags as clothing on the grounds of their high school.

The students' reasoning? A classmate wore a rainbow flag to school for the past two weeks in honor of LGBT History Month.

School officials at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Washington reportedly stated that the boys wore the flags to make an anti-gay statement, KIRO TV is reporting.

One of the students, identified by KOMO News only as Grady, confirmed to reporters his peer's decision to wear a rainbow flag during the school day prompted their decision.

"It's just a way of showing our Southern pride, nothing racist at all," Grady told the news station. "If he can wear his flag in support of what he believes, we figured we could do that as well."

Though many students at the school reportedly sport confederate flags on their cars and vehicles, Tahoma High School banned the flag as a form of dress. The school's principal reportedly warned students previously not to wear clothing that "displays representation of hate -- including Confederate flags."

Grady cites the case as a free speech issue.

This isn't the first time that a public educational institution has taken a stand against students wearing Confederate flags. In 2011, a New Jersey student was suspended from school for wearing a Confederate flag sweatshirt. However, the teen was reportedly behaving "disrespectful[ly] in her refusal to take it off."

The two boys at Tahoma High School are suspended until Monday for violating the dress code and causing a disruption.

What do you think about the school's decision to suspend these two teens?

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