Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, July 26, 2013
The U.S. Department of Education has decided to investigate an Arizona high school for hosting a so-called “Redneck Day” mocking the A&E television show “Duck Dynasty.”
According to the DoE, Queen Creek High School’s decision to hold a school event spoofing the Robertson family’s daily antics promoted racial discrimination, especially after one student wrapped himself in a Confederate flag. The “Redneck Day” was part of a week-long series of events to help promote this year’s school prom.
“It was no ill intent,” Tom Lindsey, superintendent of the Queen Creek Unified School District in suburban Phoenix, told The Arizona Republic back in May. “We apologize to any people who, because of the word (redneck), were offended.”
The DoE launched its investigation after receiving a complaint from the Rev. Jarred Maupin II, a local activist once described as “Al Sharpton’s Phoenix protegé.” According to The Arizona Daily Independent, Maupin was “outraged over the controversial celebration.”
“On May 23, 2013, we received your complaint alleging the Queen Creek Unified School District (District) discriminated on the basis of race,” a July 18 letter from the DoE’s Office for Civil Rights in Denver to Maupin read,according to The Daily Caller. “Specifically, you allege that the District discriminated by creating a racially hostile environment at the ‘redneck day’ event on May 1, 2013, at Queen Creek High School and by failing to take action to correct the racially hostile environment.”
“We have determined that we have the authority to investigate this allegation,” the letter continued. “We note, however, that the display of the confederate flag concerns rights protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Therefore, the scope of OCR’s investigation will be limited to whether a racially hostile environment was created due to language and actions that were not protected by the First Amendment.”
Maupin told Fox News that the DOE will “determine the remedy, including moderating conversations between school administrators and civil rights community leaders to shape new policy and racism prevention measures.”