LAWRENCE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Three students are suspended two days each for waving a rebel flag during Lawrence County High School's homecoming parade.
James Sharpley, standing in front of what once was his segregated high school in Moulton, a segregated school, said he and others in the African-American community are deeply offended.
"That's fine if they want to have a confederate flag, but when you started putting it in parades, that's a different thing," said Sharpley.
Superintendent Heath Grimes said the students hid the flags and pulled them out once their truck left school property.
"I wish somebody had stopped them to begin with," Grimes said. "These flags would have never been approved to show during the parade," he added.
"Don't hate me because I'm black. I won't hate you because you're white. We ought to be able to get along and that is digging in old wounds, making people upset," said African-American Moulton resident Barry Brackins.
The superintendent said he wants all students to know why the confederate flag represents pain for African-Americans.
"I hope that in the future we can help them understand what this means and use this as a learning experience, that this is not just a flag. That it is hurtful to some of those around them," Grimes said.
He added that, from now on, Lawrence County Schools will keep staff along school parade routes to prevent something like this incident from happening again.