Confederate flag complaints spur code of conduct change for Mohonasen students

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Mohonasen Central School District has updated its dress code and harassment sections of its code of conduct policy after the school board discussed complaints surrounding students wearing clothing that shows the Confederate flag. 

On Wednesday, Mohonasen High School Principal Craig Chandler emailed students and families about the change.

The letter reads:

“Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians,

At Monday evening’s school board meeting, the Code of Conduct was updated to include the following language in both the Dress Code and Harassment sections. Those sections now include the following language:

“Symbols that are disruptive to the learning environment, contain language or images that are discriminatory, are recognized to promote hate or violent conduct or contain threats are prohibited and will not be tolerated in our schools and/or school property. These symbols include but are not limited to, Nazi swastikas, Ku Klux Klan hoods, and Confederate flags. These changes take effect immediately.” 

The school board voted unanimously Monday for the change.

Board President Wade Abbott said resolving this issue took a while because of the controversy that surrounds banning the Confederate flag and other similar symbols. 

“For me personally it was not an easy, simple decision to just ban a symbol,” he said. “And as much as I do not like that particular symbol, my worry going into this is, are we going to take action that could lead to some unforeseen consequences that could impact people of any perspective down the road?” 

No other board members commented on the change. 

There have been a number of complaints regarding the Confederate flag symbol since September, with many related to the high school, said Superintendent Shannon Shine. 

Prior to the vote, Rev. Nicolle Harris of the Schenectady Chapter of the NAACP spoke to the board. 

“I don’t want to receive any other calls from parents and students who are uncomfortable walking the halls of this building,” she said.

Categories: News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

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