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School bus driver fired over Confederate flag

School bus driver fired over Confederate flag

March 10th, 2011 by JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press in News

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon school bus driver fired after he refused to remove a Confederate battle flag flying from his pickup truck has enlisted the help of a conservative civil liberties group in hopes of getting his job back.

The Rutherford Institute of Charlottesville, Va., sent a letter Wednesday to First Student Bus Transportation Services demanding that Ken Webber of Medford, Ore., be reinstated. The institute says flying the flag is covered by his First Amendment right to free speech.

Webber says he was fired Tuesday for gross insubordination after refusing to remove the flag, which is also emblazoned with the word Redneck. At issue is the time he parks the pickup at the bus yard, which is on school property.

First Student spokeswoman Bonnie Bastian did not immediately respond to a telephone call and e-mail for comment.