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Controversy in a Vermont community over flags at school

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 6:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 5:45 AM EDT
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NORTH CLARENDON, Vt. (WCAX) - A local school district’s equity committee will be meeting Thursday to talk about flying both a Black Lives Matter and Pride Flag.

The Mill River Unified School District School board members gave the approval back in June with 8 voting in favor, one opposed and one abstained.

They met again Wednesday night to talk about when to raise the flags, how long they’ll be up and which pride flag they’ll go with. The equity committee looks to answer those questions Thursday.

A petition is now circulating asking the board to reconsider their decision and add flying the flags to the August primary.

Todd Fillmore says by flying the flags, the board is allowing politics to enter the schools.

"I have nothing against anyone for any reason. If a person wants to live a particular lifestyle, that's their business, they are free to do that within this country. But I should be equally free, all of us should be equally free to express our approval or disapproval of that lifestyle," Fillmore said.

Dave Younce, the district's superintendent, believes the school board was correct in allowing the flags on school grounds. He says it is possible to separate the politics of the flags and the people they represent.

"I believe at Mill River our job is to support people and to make our students belong there and anything that can do that in a visible, tangible way is better than has done in the past and we all want to do better than we have in the past, so that's the way I see it," Younce said.

The conclusion at Thursday’s equity meeting will be sent to the board for final approval before the flags go up.

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