Middletown superintendent calls confederate flag incident ‘racist and hate-inspired’

MIDDLETOWN -- "It was racism," said Middletown superintendent Dr. Michael Conner.

"And there was hate behind it," he added.

Dr. Conner opened up about a teen who was seen on social media waving a confederate flag in a parking lot at Middletown High School. Some said the student was yelling racial obscenities during the incident.

Dr. Conner couldn't confirm or deny the student's status at the school. Tuesday morning Dr. Conner joined a student discussion about the incident.

“Students were able to articulate what happened on Friday, how they felt, the direct impact on them and more broadly on a school community," said Dr. Conner.

Backlash toward vocational agriculture students, a group the Confederate flag wielding student is a part of, was also addressed. A social media post threatens the VOAG students with violence and calls them trash. Dr. Conner said the response has no place in his school district.

“They were unfairly put into this cohort of supporting racist ideologies which that is a complete. It is false. Right, those students are good students and I want to put that out there because they were unfairly treated," said Dr. Conner.

He said the meeting opened the door for conversations about race, a topic he said was never discussed openly in his district.

“It was one of the most moving experiences that I had as an educator which reinvigorated me to do more for our students and do more for this community," said Dr. Conner.

He said he will hold monthly meetings with students addressing issues that may be bothering the community.