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School bus driver suspended for Confederate flag
komonews.com ^ | Mar 3, 2011

Posted on 03/03/2011 9:45:30 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP

Edited on 03/03/2011 2:13:32 PM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon school bus driver has been suspended for refusing to remove a Confederate flag from his personal vehicle.

The Mail Tribune reports that 28-year-old Ken Webber of Medford said he's worked four years for First Student School Bus Transportation Services, a contractor for the Phoenix-Talent School District in the Medford area.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: confederateflag; firstamendment; freespeech

1 posted on 03/03/2011 9:45:32 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: stainlessbanner

.


2 posted on 03/03/2011 9:46:33 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

You have no free speech rights in liberal Oregon. The only free speech rights belong to the Left Liberals.


3 posted on 03/03/2011 9:47:47 AM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
But if he had carried his flag to a funeral and then shrieked abuse at the recently bereaved: he would apparently be protected by the First Amendment.

Ah, well, this guy will be OK. The courts are never inconsistent on the First Amendment.

4 posted on 03/03/2011 9:51:25 AM PST by agere_contra (Whenever a Liberal admits to something: he is covering up something far worse)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
Two things jump out of this story

1 he was hired by a contractor NOT the school district therefore the school district has no right to fire him

2 the offending flag was on his personal vehicle NOT the one he used for doing his work. Unless they can prove that he was engaged in actions that were not allowed during his work time I don;\’t think they have a legal leg to stand on

5 posted on 03/03/2011 9:52:01 AM PST by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110303/NEWS/103030301/-1/NEWSMAP
 
Top Photo
 

 

A Phoenix-Talent school bus driver was suspended from his job Wednesday for refusing to remove a Confederate flag from his personal vehicle.

Ken Webber, 28, of Medford said he's worked for four years for First Student School Bus Transportation Services, a contractor for the Phoenix-Talent School District. He said he began flying the Confederate flag in the bed of his white 1997 Dodge Dakota pickup a year and a half ago after receiving the flag as a birthday gift from his father.

"It does not show I'm racist at all," Webber said. "It shows I'm a redneck. It's what I am."

Webber, who was born in Riverside, Calif., and graduated from Phoenix High School, said he defines a redneck as someone who is from the South, "stands up for what he believes in," hunts, fishes and goes "mudding" in his truck.

Each school day, before taking on his bus duties, he parked his truck in the employee parking lot at the First Student bus barn on Colver Road. The 3-by-5-foot Confederate flag, with the word, "Redneck," emblazoned across it and adorned with a fox tail and gray squirrel tail, was not visible from the street, Webber said.

Webber said his supervisor, Jonel Todd, asked him Wednesday to remove the flag. He said her request came after she received a similar request from Ben Bergreen, superintendent of the Phoenix-Talent School District.

"I got no written warnings," he said. "It was either you take it down or you get suspended. I said, 'I am not going to take my flag down.' She said, 'Well, we have to suspend you.' "

First Student spokeswoman Bonnie Bastian said Webber was asked to remove the flag because it violates the school district's policy.

"We lease our property from the school district, making it school property so it is part of School Board policy," Bastian said.

The district's policy states that prohibited harassment "may include, but not be limited to, jokes, stories, pictures or objects that are offensive, tend to alarm, annoy, abuse or demean certain protected individuals and groups."

After Bergreen's visit, Webber said, he was told the superintendent wanted the flag removed, but his supervisor took no action to try to force Webber to do so at that time.

Bergreen said he was trying to take a low-key approach to avoid potential conflict over the flag.

"I just said, 'Some people find that symbol offensive, and I would appreciate him moving it,'" Bergreen said. "...That's all I did. Initially, I appealed to his good judgment."

Asked what happened after that point, Bergreen declined further comment, noting that Webber has said he is considering litigation.

Webber insists there are no racist sentiments in his choice of flags. He says he has friends who are black, including one from childhood, another who lives in Ashland and fellow parishioners at this church.

Webber said his suspension violates his First Amendment right of free speech. He plans to hire an attorney.

"It's my truck," Webber said. "Why are others allowed to display Obama stickers. That offends me. What about pirates who kill four Americans? The Phoenix Pirates (the high school mascot) offend me. Are they going to take down all the Pirate signs because somebody was offended?"

Courts recently have upheld school bans on the Confederate flags inside school buildings, but it's unclear how First Student's role as a private contractor, the location where Webber parked and the fact that the flag is displayed on a personal vehicle might play out in court.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com

6 posted on 03/03/2011 9:52:07 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Yes, as a matter of fact, what you do in your bedroom IS my business.)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

I bet he would not have been suspended if he claimed to exercise his First Amendment Rights by having a Mexican Flag on his truck.

But, then again he works for a private company and they can suspend of fire him for what ever reason they wish as the First Amendment does not place restrictions on a private company.

He has no case.


7 posted on 03/03/2011 9:52:43 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: Responsibility2nd
What about pirates who kill four Americans? The Phoenix Pirates (the high school mascot) offend me. Are they going to take down all the Pirate signs because somebody was offended?

This guy is like another Joe the Plumber!

8 posted on 03/03/2011 9:53:14 AM PST by agere_contra (Whenever a Liberal admits to something: he is covering up something far worse)
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To: agere_contra

That would apply only if it was a military funeral. If it were a funeral of let’s say some black leader the guy would be thrown in jail. Free speech only works one way in the progressive mind.


9 posted on 03/03/2011 9:53:37 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Ah, the growing list of things that are now “racist.” When did the confederate flag become racist? Is anyone publishing a list of words and symbols that are now racist?


10 posted on 03/03/2011 9:57:22 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (Liberalism is against human nature. Practicing liberalism is detrimental to your mental stability.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Each school day, before taking on his bus duties, he parked his truck in the employee parking lot at the First Student bus barn on Colver Road.

That's the crux of the problem right there. It would be worth jumping up and down screaming if he never took the truck off his own property and they tried to fire him for having the flag. But it wasn't parked on his property.

This is kind of like those stories that begin with a policeman stopping a person for jaywalking; the jaywalker pulls a gun on the cop, the cop shoots him dead and next day the headline screams "COPS SHOOT MAN FOR JAYWALKING!!!"

11 posted on 03/03/2011 9:58:05 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: trumandogz

I find Obama bumper stickers to be offensive. Will teachers be fired for refusing to remove them from their cars?


12 posted on 03/03/2011 10:00:00 AM PST by Hoodat (Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. - (Rom 8:37))
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

I hope he takes it to the Supremes. His personal vehicle? How dare they.


13 posted on 03/03/2011 10:01:49 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

So, Code Pink and its hateful clones can denigrate Army burials, but displaying the Confederare flag is a censureable offence. Somehow the logic escapes me.


14 posted on 03/03/2011 10:02:04 AM PST by dools0007world
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Hello, US Supreme Court? Anyone home?


15 posted on 03/03/2011 10:02:23 AM PST by Carley (WISCONSIN STREET NO DIFFERENT THAN THE ARAB STREET. UGLY AND VIOLENT)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

So ... free speech isn’t a Constitutional right except on your own property?

School property falls under the ambit of the First Amendment, remember.


16 posted on 03/03/2011 10:05:51 AM PST by agere_contra (Whenever a Liberal admits to something: he is covering up something far worse)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Heck he should have shown an Islamist or Mexican flag!!!!


17 posted on 03/03/2011 10:06:48 AM PST by kenmcg
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To: Hoodat

I ike Obama stickers. They poiint out to me an idiot driver and I stay as far away as possible.


18 posted on 03/03/2011 10:07:33 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

This gentleman is going to be able to buy his own fleet of trucks before this is over with...i would suggest he contact the aclu and see how they feel about the matter...


19 posted on 03/03/2011 10:18:34 AM PST by dunblak
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

This gentleman is going to be able to buy his own fleet of trucks before this is over with...i would suggest he contact the aclu and see how they feel about the matter...


20 posted on 03/03/2011 10:18:47 AM PST by dunblak
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

I predict a big juicy settlement and a spankin’ new, ultra-souped-up, badazz personal vehicle in his future.


21 posted on 03/03/2011 10:21:18 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

insane


22 posted on 03/03/2011 10:23:34 AM PST by Moleman
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
An Oregon school bus driver has been suspended for refusing to remove a Confederate flag from his personal vehicle.

From his personal vehicle? Since when does the school district control what he has on his personal vehicle?

23 posted on 03/03/2011 10:27:15 AM PST by K-Stater
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
So is it illegal to display the Miss. State Flag?


24 posted on 03/03/2011 10:32:55 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Hoodat

If the teacher works for a public school and is a member of a union, no.

If the teacher works for a private company, like this bus driver, yes.


25 posted on 03/03/2011 10:34:38 AM PST by trumandogz
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Split decision.
They have every right to tell him that it isn’t allowed on school property regardless of whether it is leased. They can tell him to park in the street. That’s all. If he refuses and continues to bring it onto the property, he should be disciplined or fired.

If we were talking about the gay rainbow flag, would anyone have a problem with that policy? (Just an illustration, not a comparison.)

They have no right to tell him to remove it from his vehicle. It is his truck and he can put whatever he wants on it.


26 posted on 03/03/2011 11:03:50 AM PST by IrishCatholic (No local Communist or Socialist Party Chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing!)
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To: agere_contra

BINGO we have a winner!


27 posted on 03/03/2011 11:05:15 AM PST by Robbin (If Sarah isn’t welcome, I’m not welcome, it’s just that simple…)
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged
When did the confederate flag become racist?

You might be surprised at how many people on FR, some of those posting on this thread, would agree with a ban of the Confederate Battle Flag, or anything else Confederate, for that matter.

28 posted on 03/03/2011 11:30:21 AM PST by cowboyway (Molon labe : Deo Vindice : "Rebellion is always an option!!"--Jim Robinson)
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To: K-Stater; Idabilly; central_va; mstar; southernsunshine; mojitojoe
Since when does the school district control what he has on his personal vehicle?

Doesn't the school district have an obligation to protect the delicate sensibilities of certain ethnic groups that are offended by what is universally recognized as the most racist symbol on the planet? /sarc

29 posted on 03/03/2011 11:39:18 AM PST by cowboyway (Molon labe : Deo Vindice : "Rebellion is always an option!!"--Jim Robinson)
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To: Libertarianize the GOP

Who wants that guy anywhere near their kids? Hell, I’d fire him based on his Larry the Cable Guy impersonation. I wouldn’t even want a guy like that serving me fries at a drive through.


30 posted on 03/03/2011 11:44:19 AM PST by Wallop the Cat
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To: cowboyway
Doesn't the school district have an obligation to protect the delicate sensibilities of certain ethnic groups that are offended by what is universally recognized as the most racist symbol on the planet? /sarc

In a word? No.

31 posted on 03/03/2011 11:44:22 AM PST by K-Stater
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