Heard County Students Who Defaced the American Flag – Lessons Learned
What happens when students are never taught patriotism, or encouraged to embrace the symbols of our nation? They disrespect those symbols and the people they represent. Five senior class students at Heard County High School in Georgia thought that spray-painting an American flag with “2K18!” would be a good senior prank. It didn’t work out like they thought it would. The outrage was deep.
Brent Tisdale, the high school principal posted this on facebook:
The to the community of Heard County,
It has been the practice at HCHS for Seniors to participate in Senior Pranks and, as long as there was no vandalism or damage to property, we usually handle it with a grain of salt. In fact, most times the seniors tell admin about the prank beforehand. This morning, the senior prank met those requirements but clearly crossed a line by using the American Flag in the prank. I don’t believe their intention was to disrespect or insult the flag or country but that’s what happened.
Please know that we share the same emotion and passion that our community does for the American Flag. We have identified the students and assigned consequences. More importantly, we had a few of our local veterans come and speak to the kids about what the flag truly represents because, despite my initial anger and outrage, we want to use this as a teachable moment.
Our community is great, all kids make mistakes, and it takes a village, folks. I hope we can work together, as a school and community, to continue to love our kids despite their mistakes.
The school invited veterans to come and talk to the students about what the flag represents, and those who died for it.
“We talked about how we chose to voluntarily defend the flag and their right to do what they did to it, as well as family and friends and loved ones who come home underneath that flag. Two of the young people had tears in their eyes, shook our hands and apologized. Very remorseful.” Nikki Culpepper, US veteran to Fox 5.
These were seniors at a high school, not grade school kids. Note that the veteran stated that TWO of the five kids involved had tears in their eyes. What about the other 3 students? Kids do make mistakes, the Principal is correct. But by the time they are seniors, you’d think some information about respect would have seeped into the equation.