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Homecoming Week at high schools around the country conjures up memories of football games with arch-rivals, bonfires, formal dances and big corsages of chrysanthemums in autumn colors.

Those days are long gone, as Manatee County, Florida high schools learned this week after one student committed the unpardonable “sin” of taking a Confederate flag onto campus.

The incident occurred in the midst of the annual festivities surrounding the big homecoming game on Friday night with students having dress-up days ranging from “Tacky Tourist Day” and “Exotic Animal Day” to “Out of This World Day” to celebrate Spirit Week.

Wednesday was “National Pride Day,” which motivated the unidentified student to take the Confederate flag to school, prompting what were termed “peaceful protests by mostly black students.”

Some students dressed all in black and wrote Black Lives Matter and BLM on their faces.


The student turned over the flag voluntarily, according to school officials, and without incident, but not before other students had posed with the flag and posted the photos on social media.

Some reports claimed that the student also had a “Trump 2016” sign.

Superintendent of Schools Diana Greene immediately sent out a robo-call to all parents at the two district schools “urging parents and families to step up as adults and stand together,” although what exactly “standing together” meant was unclear.

Greene threatened to cancel Homecoming if there were “further incidents.”

One parent, Tikisha Gobourne, said she “felt like I was sending my children onto a battlefield,” and went to the school to “figure out how this could happen” and joined her two children at a protest at Manatee High.

Oddly, Tikisha said she hopes the situation is resolved with everyone treating each other more respectfully.

“I just think everybody wants a mutual respect,” she said, with the exception, of course, of the student who chose to bring a flag representing the history of the state to school on dress-up day.

Another parent said she hoped the incident would teach “all the students that not everybody has the same background and experiences, but they all can respect each other.”

Well, apparently not “all” students.

No violence was reported at either high school.


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