Lumberton, Miss. James Meredith says it was "foolish" for anyone to leave a noose and a Confederate emblem on a statue of him at the University of Mississippi, the school he integrated in 1962.
He says the actions should not deter black students from attending Ole Miss.
Meredith spoke at a black history program Friday at Lumberton High School.
A noose and an old Georgia state flag with a prominent Confederate emblem were put on the Meredith statue Feb. 16. Three freshmen from Georgia have been kicked out of their fraternity.
WDAM-TV reports that Meredith said: "Teenagers have been committing pranks and doing foolish things forever, and blacks will be out of their minds if they were planning on going to Ole Miss and let this distraction turn them away."