By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com October 14 2013 7:05 PM ET
Two students have been suspended for wearing Confederate flags in their high school, a demonstration that is suspected to be antigay.
A school official told Seattle TV station KIRO that the 16-year-old juniors at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash., may have been wearing the flags around their necks in response to the actions of a sophomore. The younger student had been wearing a rainbow flag throughout October in celebration of LGBT history month.
One of the offenders, identifying as Grady in an interview with KOMO news, said the Confederate flags were an expression of free speech.
"We put ours around our necks and kind of walked around with them," said Grady, who did not provide a last name. "It's just a way of showing our southern pride, nothing racist at all."
“If he can wear his flag in support of what he believes, we figured we could do that as well," Grady added.
Both Grady and his unidentified cohort were suspended last week for causing a disturbance and violating the school’s dress code. They were scheduled to return to school today.