Oakville student wore Confederate flag face mask to school: District says it won't happen again

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By 97.1 FM Talk

ST. LOUIS (97.1 FM TALK) - The Mehlville School District has responded after a parent complained about a student wearing a Confederate flag face mask to school.

Both superintendent Chris Gaines, who is white, and Oakville High School principal Tamara Sunkett, who is Black, said "The matter has been addressed with the student and the student’s family. When the student returns to campus, he will not be allowed to wear the confederate flag face mask."

They say when a Oakville High School got the call and went to investigate the student had already left campus for the day.

The story also promoted the Council on American-Islamic Relations to release a statement, praising the school for its response.

"CAIR-Missouri commends the rapid response of Oakville High School Principal Tamara Sunkett and Mehlville Schools Superintendent Chris Gaines to address a disturbing incident in which one of the school’s students showed up wearing the Confederate flag mask," CAIR-Missouri Associate Executive Director Marwan Hameed said. "We welcome Principal Tamara Sunkett’s statement that, 'Confederate symbols are steeped in racism and infringe the rights of all to feel safe and respected.'”

Here's the full statement from Gaines and Sunkett:

"Yesterday, Oakville High School principals received a phone call from a parent concerned about a student wearing a confederate flag face covering. When an administrator began investigating, he found the student had already left campus for the day.

"This is not a situation we take lightly. Confederate symbols are steeped in racism. This and any such symbols of disrespect are offensive to students and staff and infringe upon our belief that everyone deserves the right to feel safe and respected in our school communities.

"The matter has been addressed with the student and the student’s family. When the student returns to campus, he will not be allowed to wear the confederate flag face mask. Our dress code does not support clothing items that creates a disruption on our campus."