2 suspended from Long island school for having Confederate flag at school event

Long Island news from Eyewitness News

April 15, 2014 2:54:39 PM PDT
Two students have been suspended from St. Anthony's High School after they wore a Confederate flag to a school athletic event last week.

A picture showed two of the school's seniors at the South Huntington school on Long Island cloaked in a Confederate flag to a handball tournament at the school. The game on Wednesday was between a team of primarily white students and a team whose members mainly are black.

"Everybody was kind of like, are you serious, did this actually just happen? The gym teachers took precautions. It was unbelievable how quickly they made sure the flag was away," said senior Aleksei Korobow, who was at the tournament.

Principal Gary Cregan said the school suspended the students for 10 days, but he's seeking further disciplinary action - although he didn't offer any details. "It's that serious and it's that obnoxious that it warrants a strong reaction on the part of the school," he said.

Although the flag is frequently seen as a symbol of hate, others said it is also a piece of American history and a matter of free speech. "I understand it brings up bad feelings, but people do have the right to express their opinions whether we agree with it or not," said parent Hector Gavilla.

Korobow said students on the team with primarily black members behaved very maturely. "I know it was a struggle for them but they were able to keep very mature about it," said Korobow.