Education

Confederate flag, painted in May 2014, removed from Payette High School parking lot

A Confederate flag painted in Payette High School's parking lot in May 2014 just recently was permanently removed, according to Mark Heleker, principal of the school.

Two seniors from the class of 2014 painted the flag in the section of the parking lot dedicated to senior classes because they wanted to be remembered as "rebels," Heleker said.

He let the flag remain in the parking lot because nobody complained, he said.

"One of the greatest things about living in our community is that we don't have these kinds of thoughts," Heleker said of any racist overtones associated with the flag and the Confederacy.

It wasn't until January 2015 that someone said they were offended by the flag. Heleker said he told the maintenance department the same day to cover up the flag. But the flag started showing through the paint again in early April, and another complaint came in.

This time Heleker had the flag covered up with a more permanent coat of paint, he said.

He said it was important to cover it up if anyone felt it was a racist statement.

"If there's one person offended by it, you bet," he said.

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