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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Does the Confederate flag belong on display in public schools?



1qqgmh.st_.56.jpegThere's an elementary school in Broward County that opened a decade ago with a U.S. history theme.

The Miami Herald reports that the school's walls feature art and artifacts representing different eras of the country's past. That includes a display of the Confederate flag, right next to a U.S. flag. (Miami Herald photo, left)

And not for the first time, a parent has filed a complaint.

Tina Meadows, whose 5-year-old attends the school, told the Herald that the Stars and Bars offended her because of its association with racism and slavery. She started an online petition to get it removed.

“The Confederate flag is equivalent to the use of the swastika in Nazi Germany,” petition signer Celeste Barnette, of Newmarket, N.H., wrote. “Why would anyone need to take pride in it except to exhibit hatred and intimidation?”

Principal Marc Charpentier had a simple explanation: It's part of our history. So far, he told the Herald, there hasn't been huge opposition.

“They understand the context in which it’s being represented,” Charpentier said. “We’re not saying ‘This is the only flag of the building,’ that’s not the message that’s being sent.” 

The saying goes that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. But does that mean we have to display some of the most incendiary symbols for daily viewing? Your thoughts?

[Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 7:50am]


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