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Student: I was suspended for Confederate flag

Posted: 2:10 PM, Sep 26, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-26 15:10:11-04

“Heritage, not hate.”

That’s the message a group of eastern Iowa high schoolers are using to defend their stance on the Confederate flag after a fellow student says he was sent home Thursday for flying the flag on his truck.

On Friday, some of Hunter Gray’s classmates supported him.

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Nearly a dozen students showed up at Vinton-Shellsburg High School displaying the “stars and bars” to show support.

"I don't want this to be a racism thing because this is not what it's about,” Gray said. “We want to show them that this, to us is heritage and a piece of American history."

Gray also said he believes his First Amendment right was violated.

District superintendent Mary Jo Hainstock did not confirm or deny Gray was sent home from the school, only saying the district is trying to balance freedom of speech and providing a safe learning environment.

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