Ban Lifted on Confederate Flags, Swastikas

December 16, 2015

Kutztown University, in Pennsylvania, announced Tuesday that it will lift a brief ban on any use in a dormitory room or elsewhere on campus of the Confederate flag or swastikas. The university this month announced this policy: "All decorations in common areas in the residence hall and apartments must take into consideration that obscene, distasteful displays which are demeaning to an individual's or group's race, ethnic, religious background and/or gender or ability will not be permitted and will be removed immediately, at the discretion of Housing and Residential Services. The Confederate flag and swastika are NOT permitted in any residence hall, suite and apartment or student room." (Uppercase and bold emphasis is per the policy.)

But on Tuesday, the university withdrew portions of the policy. A statement from the university said: "Kutztown University recently announced a proposed change to its housing decoration policy restricting the display of symbols that promote messages inconsistent with the values of the university. Upon learning of the change, university legal counsel asked us to refrain from implementing the policy in order to permit a review for constitutionality. As a result of this review, references to any specific content, such as symbols, will be removed from the policy. The university will educate our students and other members of our community, so they will understand the historical and modern context for these symbols, and we will continue to advocate for an environment wherein all those associated with our university can feel valued and safe."

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