- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - The latest on a school in western Virginia where students were suspended for wearing clothes showing the Confederate flag (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The NAACP chapter president in a western Virginia town where high school students are fighting a ban on the Confederate flag says he doesn’t believe the teens realize the pain that the flag causes his community.

Alvin Humes, president of the NAACP chapter in Christiansburg, Virginia, said Friday that he commends the students at the local high school for standing up for what they believe in.

But he said for African Americans, the Confederate flag represents hatred. He said he believes the issue could be resolved if both sides were brought together to have a discussion about the flag.

About 20 students were suspended Thursday for refusing to remove clothing displaying the Confederate flag, which the school says it banned after incidents of racial tension during the 2001-2002 school year. The students say they will continue protesting the policy next week.

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10:30 a.m.

A spokeswoman for a western Virginia high school says no additional students have been suspended for wearing clothing emblazoned with the Confederate flag.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokeswoman Brenda Drake said no Christiansburg High School students were suspended Friday for dress code violations.

She said three students showed up to school wearing the flag but removed the gear before entering the building. She said others chose not to enter the building but couldn’t say how many.

About 20 students were suspended Thursday for refusing to remove clothing displaying the Confederate flag, which the school says it banned after incidents of racial tension during the 2001-2002 school year. A new policy this year prohibits students from displaying the flag on vehicles in the school parking lot.

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10:15 a.m.

Students at a western Virginia high school say they’ll continue to protest a ban on Confederate flags displayed on clothing and cars until the administration changes the policy.

A group of about 40 people, including Christiansburg High School students and their supporters, gathered near the school Friday to call on administrators to reverse their policy.

About 20 students were suspended Thursday for refusing to remove Confederate gear, which the school says was banned because of incidents of racial tension.

Some students said Friday that they’ll continue to wear clothing emblazoned with the flag despite the punishment. It wasn’t immediately clear whether any students were suspended Friday.

Senior Houston Miller, who’s leading the effort, said the protests will continue until the school backs down or he’ll take legal action.

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4:30 a.m.

A Virginia student who’s leading the fight against his high school’s ban on clothes emblazoned with the Confederate flag says he’s unsure what the students’ next step will be.

Houston Miller was among roughly 20 students suspended from Christiansburg High School on Thursday after holding a rally to protest a new policy banning vehicles with Confederate flag symbols from the school parking lot and refusing to take off clothing displaying the symbol.

Miller said Thursday that he wasn’t going to back down and had been organizing another rally for Friday outside the school.

But he later said that some students had received angry messages online about the issue and were worried about the potential for violence.

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