Owasso High School admin. clarifies American flag situation, says no large flag poles at games

Posted at 12:10 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 23:28:10-04

OWASSO, Okla. – School administrators have released a statement regarding the controversy surrounding a student who was asked to leave a game because they were carrying an American flag. 

Video of Owasso High School senior Brandon Conrad shows him being asked by police officer to leave the football stadium.

Conrad was allegedly waving an American Flag in the stadium. A school spokesperson says it's not about what the flag represents. She says flags, signs and banners can make it hard for others to see the game.

Zach Duffield, Owasso Public Schools athletic director, said there's more to this video than meets the eye.

"There's definitely some miscommunication that went on between the athletic department and the administration and the security enforced that we had here," Duffield said.

What you don't see in the video, a young man hoisting a bigger American flag with a large pole.

"The officer came up to us and told us we had to get out, like we had to leave if we were going to have those," Jared Mcloughlin, a student holding the large flag pole, said.

Duffield said that;s where the confusion started.

"The metal poles the flags were on were the issue, the flag was never the issue," Duffield told 2 Works for You.

He said the officer noticed the pole in the stands and asked if he could address the safety issue by making the student take it out of the stadium.

But students didn't see it that way.

"We were told earlier in the week the principal sent out an email saying we were allowed to have banners, signs, flags... and then once we got there with all our stuff we were told no," Mcloughlin said.

On Thursday the school sent a statement regarding Conrad and Mcloughlin's situation saying “Our athletic director and high school administration have partnered to clarify with our students that large flag poles are not permitted at the games.  The large flag poles were the original safety concern and yet that message was not clearly conveyed to everyone providing supervision at last Friday night's game. We have apologized to our students and community for any miscommunication.”

The athletic director along with students also want to address that Owasso High School is, and always will be respectful and patriotic to our veterans and those who currently serve our country.



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