A Midlands dad is taking his kids out of a private school in Columbia because school officials won’t let him display the Confederate flag on his truck while on school property.
Rhett Ingram says Heathwood Hall is the only school his children have ever known. In fact, he was paying around $26,000 annually to send his kids to the private school, but when school officials told him to leave his Confederate flag at home, the father of two wouldn’t budge.
“This just ain’t right,” Ingram said.
He said he started flying the Confederate flag on his truck in 2016 after recent national efforts against the flag.
“I felt like it was being taken. It’s like, 'wait a minute – that flag doesn’t mean I’m racist,'" Ingram said. "It doesn’t mean I hate people.”
The father of two says his children have been attending Heathwood Hall since they were just four years old, and now 14 and 11. But Ingram says he didn’t always fit in with the other parents.
“I drive a truck. I show up dirty, and sweaty and nasty. I might not be eloquent and I don’t have a degree,” Ingram said.
When he showed up on school grounds with a confederate flag on that truck in 2016, Ingram says he was approached by the school’s headmaster.
“We had complaints and your flag’s not welcome here,” is what Ingram claims the headmaster told him.
He says after a sit-down and multiple discussions, “Basically, at the end of the day he didn’t change his view and I didn’t change mine.”
Just this week, Ingram enrolled his children into a local public school hoping his kids understand his actions, even if they don’t just yet.
“Ultimately, my children are the ones that hurt. It meant more to me for when my kids get old, they look back and say, ‘you know what, dad told me to stand for what’s right.’ Always," Ingram said.
The school placed Ingram on a No Trespass Notice at the end of September. As a private institution, the school has a legal right to ban the flag on its property.
Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.