FLAG DISPLAY ISSUE RESOLVED
Today, a group of students led a very respectful and appropriate protest of the RHS student handbook guideline regarding display of flags on vehicles. At the class meetings on the first day of school, ROCORI High School administrators shared information about changes in the High School handbook. One of the changes involved a statement that “Students are not allowed to display flags or banners from their vehicle while parked in the ROCORI High School parking lot.”
As a result of the student demonstration, conversations with student leaders and school administrators occurred. The conversations focused on the issue of flags that might cause other students to be threatened, uncomfortable, or feel unsafe in the school setting. Students and school leaders fully agreed that celebration of our nation is desired but disrespect is not acceptable or desired. The conversations encouraged productive and meaningful ways to allow students to display the American flag while still protecting all students from potentially threatening or negative displays of other flags on vehicles.
Student leaders have offered to help support an approach that allows American flags to be displayed on vehicles while, at the same time, helping to encourage respect for others. The students want their peers to feel safe and comfortable in school and understand that other flags can be disruptive and harmful or cause emotional responses in others. As a result of the interactions, the handbook guideline will be withdrawn by ROCORI High School.
The goal of the conversations between RHS administrators and students has been to work out appropriate, positive and respectful solutions—balancing the interests and rights of all students who attend the ROCORI School District. The entire situation has helped raise awareness about the meaning and power of symbols, the effects symbols have on other people, and to encourage and promote respectful approaches to all members of the school community.