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Student says that the theft of the Confederate flag has sparked protests



DETROIT – A student who conducted a two-day demonstration outside his high school in central Michigan this week said that this was a response to the undisputed theft of a Confederate flag pickup truck

Cameron Myers, an 18-year-old senior at Bay City's Western High School, an overwhelmingly white high school about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Detroit in Auburn, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he complained to school officials that someone's had cut off a Confederate flag from a pole on his truck, but nobody was disciplined. Then he went to friends in social networks and asked them to wear their own flags outside the school.

"It all started because my flag was destroyed and nothing was done about it," Myers said. "I said that I fly every flag you have at home." Everyone here has the Confederate flag. It is a country boy, where it is in their garages, bedrooms, windows. "

On Tuesday, about five to eight trucks parked Confederate flags opposite the school, where only about seven of the approximately 1,200 students are black.On Wednesday there were about 20 parked vehicles, and they were hit by students holding a counter-demonstration hosted by swaying rainbow flags and placards with messages such as "Black Lives Matter" and "Hate Not Heritage."

School officials said most The pro-Confederate demonstrators were not students at the school, but Myers disagreed and said that until Administrators have canceled classes due to threats at high school and an adjoining middle school on Thursday, but Bay County sheriff Troy Cunningham said the reports would have been "one student from another student listened and went around in social media. "

Eventually came the information that" people Come to Bay City Western to confront students' way to the headmaster of the school, said the supervisor of the school district, Stephen Bigelow. He said both schools planned to reopen Friday.

Efforts to remove Confederate flags from public places as symbols of national division and black oppression accelerated after the violence during a White Racist gathering last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Myers said that he is not racist and his demonstration should not be seen as such. He also said that he had received no threats from the demonstrations.

"I did not think it would go that far," he added, saying that in retrospect he might have followed a different approach.

Myers grandmother, Lynn Boyce, said everything was "over the top".

"These guys are rednecks," Boyce said of Cameron and his friends. "The Confederate flag means nothing racist to them, we're not racists."

She believes that whoever stole Myers flag from his truck is really to blame for the trouble. She also said that her grandson and friends did not plan to protest again on Friday.

Cunningham said his department is investigating the theft of the Myers flag.

"We believe his flag was taken down or his truck could have been entered," he said. "We are closely monitoring the situation, working with other law enforcement agencies, making sure that nothing gets violent, nobody gets hurt, and education is not disturbed."

Bigelow said the school district is also trying to get to the bottom

"High school students sometimes make terrible decisions"

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news researcher Rhonda Shafner from New York City

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press , All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.


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