ROYSE CITY, Texas — Royse City ISD officials are feeling the pressure from students and administrators to address a controversial Confederate flag issue that happened at Royse City High School earlier this week.
The concerns began building after a student was seen parading around campus wearing a rebel flag around his neck like a cape. Photos and videos of the student wearing the flag have also been widely shared on social media.
“We know that that symbol is a symbol of hatred,” community activist Ernest Walker said. “It’s a symbol of terrorism.”
Some students say the display and videos of the incident are causing problems around Royse City High School.
Parents and activists gathered at the campus Wednesday hoping to speak with administrators about their concerns.
”I want something done,” Eric Price said. “Royse City, the city is broken.”
Some of the parents say they don’t believe the Royse City ISD is taking their concerns seriously.
"Right now, Royse City just took a step back 100 years, because they let that boy walk down there like Superman with a cape around these kids," Price said. "And they could do nothing.”
Members of the group claimed the meeting Royse City ISD administrators called was cancelled shortly after they arrived on campus. They said police wouldn’t allow some of them on campus.
Members of the group say they had a list of demands.
"We want to make sure that there is something put in place for sensitivity training with these teachers and the school district," Walker said. "The students need to be addressed to let them know that this is not something that is tolerated by the city, this school."
Representatives from Royse City ISD issued a statement on Wednesday, saying:
“We understand that this situation evokes strong emotions and we are listening to your concerns. We care about what the Royse City ISD community thinks, what parents think, what staff members think and most importantly what our students think.
On April 23, RCHS administration confiscated a confederate flag from a student who was disrupting the educational environment. The student was asked by staff members earlier in the day to put the flag away. The student complied, but later revealed the flag again. Administrators were then notified and confiscated the flag without incident. Appropriate consequences have been issued in accordance to board policy. Information on specific student discipline is federally protected.
As with any situation, we are looking back to see where we can improve. We are thankful to the students, parents and community members who have shared their thoughts and suggestions on this matter.”
While updating this story, some unidentified teens driving from Royse City High School’s campus in a white SUV yelled “White Power." The racist statement and the vehicle was captured on video. That video has been shared with Royse City ISD administrators.
Administrators said there is zero-tolerance for this behavior. They say the issue is taken seriously and they are working to identify the vehicle and students involved.