Confederate flag stand threatens Crosby student’s graduation

Photo: Dorene Nelson

School officials in the Crosby-Ironton school district reportedly have threatened to withhold the diploma of a senior because he showed up at school yesterday with a Confederate flag attached to his car.

His mother says he’s a supporter of the military and the right to hunt and bear arms.

“He was just trying to respect those people that fought for everything where we are today,” Dorene Nelson, Cody Nelson’s mother, said. “He felt like he was outnumbered because he was trying to be supportive of how far we’ve come in our country.”

She says he was planning to be back at school today with the flag still attached.

“Then he gets this thrown at him, with controversy and racism,” Dorene Nelson tells Fargo Forum. “When half his family is black. He took it pretty hard today.”

Displaying the flag is a violation of school district policy 504, “Student Dress and Appearance,” [superintendent Jamie] Skjeveland said.

“When, in the judgment of the administration, a student’s appearance, grooming, or mode of dress, or materials displayed, is inappropriate, interferes with or disrupts the educational process or school activities, or poses a threat to the health or safety of the student or others, the student will be directed to make modifications or will be sent home for the day. Parents/guardians will be notified,” C-I school district policy 504, “Student Dress and Appearance,” says.

“As with any violation of any of our policies, the school district took appropriate action,” Skjeveland said.

The applicable section of the policy reads as such: Objectionable emblems, badges, symbols, signs, words, objects or pictures on clothing or jewelry or other displays communicating a message that is racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory to a protected minority group, evidences gang membership or affiliation, or approves, advances or provokes any form of religious, racial or sexual harassment and/or violence against other individuals as defined in Policy 413.

School officials won’t say how the student was disciplined but his mother said he was sent home for the day and suspended for the rest of the week.

His mother organized a protest at the school this morning.