A construction worker has been barred from an Albany school after twice showing up to campus in a vehicle decorated with a Confederate flag.
The Albany City School District reported that students and staff first noticed the vehicle parked at Albany High School on May 16, and alerted administrators. The car belonged to an employee of a contractor working on the school’s expansion project, The Capital District Daily Voice reported on May 19.
The district said it notified Turner Construction, which is overseeing the $180 million, multi-year expansion and renovation project, of the offensive display and the company said it had addressed the issue with the employee.
“The individual was asked to move his car off campus and not to return to campus with it,” Albany Schools Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said. “The individual immediately complied with the request to remove the vehicle from campus.”
Adams said managers also distributed materials to workers reminding them of the company’s policies surrounding “bias-motivated events,” including bullying and displaying hate symbols.
However, the employee didn’t seem to get the message. He returned in the same car the following day.
“On Tuesday afternoon, the same vehicle was found to be parked on Washington Avenue directly in front of the high school,” Adams said “We immediately contacted Turner again to make them aware and to reiterate our message that this display of a hate symbol is unacceptable on our school campuses or in such close proximity to any of our schools.”
The employee was barred from returning to the job site, Adams said.
District leaders have also been in touch with Albany Police and the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, she said.
“Our school district will not tolerate displays of hate symbols or messaging. Our sensitivity to these matters is especially heightened in the wake of the despicable hate crime in Buffalo over the weekend.”
The district said students and staff who encounter anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe should report it immediately.