St. Francis student gets Confederate flag tattoo, is suspended indefinitely
Freedom of speech, offensive behavior, or just flat-out bad tattoo?
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?
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 said everyone likes his new tat. He must not have any black friends.
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.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.
- Steven Timm charged with animal cruelty for harassing, drowning deer
- Cataclysmic boredom propels Stewart Mills into 2016 congressional race
- Man goes to meet prostitute with a trunk full of plastic and a giant empty suitcase