Confederate flag confiscated during Spirit Week at Manatee High School

Manatee High School
Manatee High School

A Confederate flag was confiscated from a Manatee High School student Wednesday during Spirit Week after other students complained about the flag.

A student complained to Principal Don Sauer on Wednesday morning about the flag, Manatee County School District spokesman Mike Barber said. The student with the flag was found and voluntarily gave up the flag, Barber said. Photos began circulating of groups of students posing with the flag, which appears also to say “Trump 2016” on it, before the flag was taken away.

Spirit Week at Manatee leads into the weekend homecoming celebrations, and each day has a different theme for students.

On Monday, students celebrated tacky tourist day and were encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts, fanny packs and socks and sandals, according to the Homecoming Spirit Week 2016 flier. Tuesday was exotic animal day, and students were encouraged to dress up as zebras, elephants, gorillas and kangaroos.

The flier described Wednesday as representing “national pride” and encouraged students to wear a country’s flag, dress as an influential person from a country or wear traditional outfits from other countries like a Spanish bullfighter or an ancient Egyptian.

Thursday is out-of-this-world day, and students can dress as superheroes, aliens, monsters or other paranormal creatures. Friday is the final spirit day in which each class of students wears a different color — freshman in white, sophomores in red, juniors in blue and seniors in red, white and blue.

Manatee High School’s football team plays George Steinbrenner High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The homecoming dance takes place Saturday night.

Barber said the flag would be returned to the student from whom it was confiscated, and he said the incident would be handled at the school, although there was a slight increase in Bradenton Police Department presence at the school at the end of the day.

Barber stressed that BPD was made aware of what happened at the school but that it was a school matter.

Officials at the school Wednesday afternoon were working to send an automated call home to parents and families.

Meghin Delaney: 941-745-7081, @MeghinDelaney