EASTERN – A 2013 graduate of Allen Central High School has started a petition to have the school’s flag returned to the campus, but at least one school official maintains it’s not something they’re interested in doing.
David Hampton, of Eastern, posted his petition on the website Change.org Friday. It states: “This is a petition demanding the Floyd County School Board and Superintendent Henry Webb return of the school flag to the campus of Allen Central High School.”
Hampton said he started the petition from a place of school pride and tradition.
“I started the petition to preserve the full tradition of Allen Central,” said Hampton, who is calling for those refusing to act on his request to resign immediately. “And I truly believe that it will make Superintendent Henry Webb and the board see the error in approving these sort of changes to the school’s image.”
Hampton said he has emailed Webb, Allen Central principal Larry Begley and also the school’s assistant principal Karen DeRossett. As of Tuesday, only DeRossett had responded, emailing Hampton on Saturday, Aug. 8.
“I think it’s really sad that you or anyone else would think that the confederate flag belongs in a school,” DeRossett wrote to Hampton. “Of course, we will never understand because we are white, how it feels to walk in and see something representing a school that also flies at a KKK rally. While the history of the flag did not start with that representation, that is where we are in this day and age so please understand we will have to disagree on this issue.”
As of late Tuesday morning, the petition had 1,416 signatures, including that of former state representative and recent candidate for sheriff Brandon Spencer, who pointed to history in explaining his stance.
“I believe that history is important and shouldn’t be considered offensive,” Spencer said. “After all, it is an inanimate object which cannot hate or love.”
Hampton said he understands DeRossett’s comments, but will not pull his petition.
“I have had a large outpour of support for my petition,” he said, adding this petition as also for students who would graduate before the opening of the new Floyd County Central High School. “I understand their point of view, but this is about preserving the AC (Allen Central) tradition for the kids who will graduate before that day comes.”
Sheldon Compton is a staff writer for The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.