A predominantly white high school in Vermont is going to fly a Black Lives Matter flag over the campus during Black History Month, which is rapidly closing in as February approaches.
The Montpelier Public Schools (MPS) agency confirmed last week that they will be flying the BLM flag, in spite of the movement’s well-known extreme anti-law enforcement positions, on behalf of the student-led Racial Justice Alliance (RJA), who appeared before the MPS board earlier this month and demanded the flag be hoisted high.
“Vermont has a long history of being at the forefront of civil rights movements,” the school news release read. “Our state was the first to abolish slavery in its constitution, and the first to enroll and graduate a black student, who subsequently served in the state legislature. The School Board’s decision to fly a Black Lives Matter flag builds on that legacy.”
The RJA claimed that the action is just one of many new planned actions, including making curriculum and climate changes, as well as creating “shared understanding of the need for racial justice.”
The group did briefly address the violence perpetrated by BLM groups, but there isn’t a mention of the law enforcement interactions where officers were deemed justified in their actions which originally led to the rise of BLM. “We will raise the flag with love in our hearts and courage in our voices. We reject any purported connections to violence or hate that may or may not have occurred under the Black Lives Matter flag,” the group said in an article posted by the Burlington Free Press. We recognize that all lives do matter, but in the same spirit, not all lives are acknowledged for their equal importance until black lives have been.”
The school board voted unanimously on January 17 in favour of raising the flag.
“In taking this step the board and administration recognize student leadership and their desire for support,” said Superintendent Brian Ricca.
The school board reportedly welcomes the community to engage in a “constructive and peaceful dialogue, in the hopes of deepening our shared understanding of race and privilege in our education system and broader community.”
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