- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln’s school superintendent has apologized after administrators asked some students not to fly American flags on their vehicles from holders they made in class due to worries about the potential for disagreements.

Several welding students at Career Academy flew the flags Friday for Veterans Day with the permission of Career Academy officials. The request prohibiting the flags was prompted by an incident later that day at Southeast Community College, when someone removed one of the flags from a holder attached to the tow hitch of a vehicle and placed it in the bed of an adjacent pickup, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/2f4V888 ).

The person who removed the flag hasn’t been identified. Career Academy director Dan Hohensee said while there was no altercation and, so far, no known reason for taking down the flag, administrators worried that a future incident could lead to a personal confrontation or property damage.

Students, family and community members told Lincoln Public Schools that they were concerned the district was trying to take away their constitutional rights. Superintendent Steve Joel said Thursday that officials respect the rights of students to display their flags and that the decision to ask students not to fly them was a mistake.

“Hindsight would suggest that this could have been handled in a different way,” Joel said.

Joel added that LPS students have in almost all instances been respectful of each other’s perspectives following the divisive presidential election.

The Career Academy is a joint program between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College, where high school students attend for two hours a day during the regular school year while taking the rest of their courses at their home school.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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