School board will not ban Confederate flag in dress code

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ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (AP) — A county school board in Virginia has decided not to update its dress code to ban displays of the Confederate flag.

The Roanoke Times reported Monday that the decision followed months of debate in Franklin County, which is outside of Roanoke in western Virginia.

Many school board members said such a ban could violate students' rights to free speech and spur legal challenges. The vote was 7 to 1.

Penny Blue, the board's only black member, was the sole no vote. She had proposed the measure last fall when the board was considering changes to its dress code.

She argued the flag was a symbol of white supremacy. Other members said they personally detested the flag but raised concerns about free speech.

School officials cited a 2000 court case in Kentucky that could have legal precedent in Virginia. The Kentucky school's attempt to ban the flag failed.

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