BLM flag to fly at Burlington High School

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Burlington High School will be the next Vermont high school in the state to fly a Black Lives Matter flag.

Cheers and tears of happiness filled the Hunt Middle School Tuesday when the Burlington School Board unanimously passed flying the Black Lives Matter Flag.

"I'm in utter disbelief, me and my friends really did this. We finally did this and we are going to do this," Burlington High School Senior Eliza Abedi said.

We first met Eliza Abedi on Feb. 1. That is when Montpelier High School raised its Black Lives Matter flag to celebrate Black History Month. It was at that time she hoped her school would follow suit.

"Hopefully we at Burlington High School can do the same thing and follow in their lead. This would be a monumental thing to happen all over the state," Abedi said in that Feb. 1 interview.

Since that day, Abedi and the Social Justice Union have been working with Principal Tracy Racicot and the school board to get the flag flying. During Tuesday's meeting, students presented the school board with a petition of more than 450 signatures of students who supported the flying of the flag.

"I think it's great. I'd rather have them do it than not because I feel like a lot of people at BHS they want to be heard and their voices want to be expressed," Junior Ervin Medar said.

The movement for these students is not about police violence or creating a distraction in class, but simply about being heard, which includes highlighting inequalities they say the public should know. According to the students, 14.6 percent of the school district is black students and the suspension rate of black students is almost 30 percent.

"Black Lives Matter to me right now means being heard, being seen, being acknowledged and being here," Abedi said.

"I'm just really excited to see the turnout and see people that have been supporting us and to see them finally make this happen and physically see the flag go up," BHS student Hawa Adam said.

Monday, students will gather around the flagpole to watch the Black Lives Matter flag go up and while it's only scheduled to be up for the remainder of this year, students are already planning to petition for it to be up next year.