IRWIN, Pa. — Homecoming Spirit Week at Norwin High School is supposed to be a fun experience. But two students wore the Confederate flag to school on a day that students were encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
“It was all going okay until I started seeing people with confederate pants and shirts. They are walking around with teachers around and nobody was taking any action and I felt both confused and mad,” explained Arnav Bedekar.
“My father is a refugee from Laos and coming from someone who is bi-racial I’ve not been new to this hate. But to see a specific group be targeted and hated like that. That’s very hurtful,” explained Maleah Phetsomphou.
Pictures of the students were posted to social media.
The superintendent said the students were told to change their clothes and issued this statement, which reads in part,
“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.”
Fawn Walker is the co-founder of Take Action Mon Valley.
She says students reached out to her because they think school leaders aren’t doing enough.
“This is why we need critical race theory. This is why we need that taught in schools because they are not getting it at home,” Walker said.