Neal Carlson, an 18-year-old senior at St. Francis High School, thinks his new Confederate-flag-blending-into-American-flag tattoo "summarizes pretty much the whole history of the U.S."
His school district's superintendent doesn't see it quite the same way, and suspended Carlson until he agrees to cover up the tattoo while at school. Carlson, however, has no plans to conceal his stars-and-bars clad tricep.
Couldn't he have just waited until the end of his senior year to exercise his right to bad tattoos?
[jump] Superintendent Ed Saxton told KSTP that Carlson's tattoo is a violation of the school's dress code.
"He made a bad decision and there's a consequence from a school standpoint," he said. "He had a choice and selected his consequence."
Carlson acknowledged that some might view the tattoo as offensive, but said he's actually received nothing but positive feedback.
"Everyone [besides the superintendent] said they like it," he said, adding that he believes the suspension violates his right to free speech.
He may be indefinitely suspended from school, but, following in the footsteps of free speech crusaders like Thomas Jefferson, Carlson has no plans to bow to authority and cover the tattoo.
"I'm just going to keep on wearing what I want to wear and if school doesn't like if they can keep suspending me for it," he said.
Just remember to wear a long-sleeve shirt when you show up for your job interview at the local fast food joint, kid.