Parent says daughter subjected to racial intimidation when students wore Confederate flag clothing to school

Bridget Dye said her daughter is biracial, and she fears nothing is being done to address racial intimidation in the Pennsylvania district.


A parent of a Pennsylvania high school student said her daughter was subjected to racial intimidation for roughly five hours on Monday when two students showed up to school in Confederate flag clothing.

The students at Norwin High School, located 20 miles from Pittsburgh, were encouraged to wear red, white and blue. According to the school's website, this was all part of something called "Merica Day" during the school's Homecoming Week.

Bridget Dye said her daughter is biracial, and she fears nothing is being done to address racial intimidation in the district.

"For the past six years of my children being in this district, they faced many, many different incidents of racial intimidation," Dye said.

When she was alerted to the photo of two students wearing the Confederate flag clothing, she said she called the school and reported the photo to the social justice organization, Take Action Mon Valley.

"The Confederate flag has been a symbol associated with racism and celebrating white supremacy. These things are known. They probably knew what they were doing when they showed up to the school with the Confederate flag," co-founder of Take Action Mon Valley, Fawn Walker-Montgomery said.

The Norwin School District released the following statement:

"As part of today’s theme for homecoming week, Norwin High School students were encouraged to wear red, white and blue to show their support for our country. Unfortunately, two students came to school wearing attire that many in our community have found offensive. A photo of the students in the clothing has been circulating on social media.

The photo in question was taken very early in the school day. Once school administration became aware of the situation, the students were called into the school office and were asked to change into different clothing. The students complied with the request immediately and returned to class.

Per district policy, students who have clothing on that may potentially disrupt the educational process are given a verbal warning on the first occasion and are asked to change their clothing. We cannot share further details at this time due to our need to protect student confidentiality.

While we are disappointed that this situation occurred in our school, we see it as a learning opportunity to reinforce the Norwin School District’s commitment to a safe, healthy and positive learning environment each and every day."

"These kids entered the building at seven o’clock this morning. At one o’clock they finally made those kids change their clothes. Five hours, and not a single adult in that building thought that their attire was inappropriate until parents started calling," Dye said.

Walker-Montgomery is calling for punishment.

"We are looking for these students to be disciplined, and we're looking for the school to have some kind of community meeting and change some of their policies and procedures," Walker-Montgomery said.

The statement said, per district policy, students who wear potentially disruptive clothing are given a verbal warning for their first offense.