Confederate flag photo upsets Chapel Hill students

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Concerned parents told ABC11 Monday that a photo posted to the social media site Instagram has upset many students.

The picture was allegedly taken by an East Chapel Hill High School student. It shows two girls waving confederate flags. The person who posted the picture included the caption "South will rise."

Under that, someone commented "Already bought my first slave."

The school confirmed to ABC11 the photo was taken in Gettysburg during a school trip focused on the Civil War a few weeks ago.

The photo and the comments have since been removed from the site. ABC11 is not identifying the person who posted the picture due to their age.

The school system says it has taken action, but can't say exactly how it addressed the student's conduct.

"I think that people don't take it serious enough. I'm no different than a white parent that loves their child that works hard to provide their child some of the good things in life," said concerned parent Jolanda Johnson.

The person who posted the original image has since posted an apology.

In a letter to staff, the school district superintendent also urged instructors look at how "an understanding of race and discrimination, and their still-existing impact, is integrated into our curriculum and not taught as isolated topics."

"We must be sure our students understand how race impacts our lives, and how that impact can, and should be, both significant and positive. The future of our community, state and nation depends on it," wrote Superintendent Thomas Forcella.

Concerned community members are holding a news conference Wednesday morning at the central offices of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System. They are also calling on supporters to attend the next school board meeting on Thursday.

Click here to read the full letter (.pdf)

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