A Black Lives Matter flag will fly in front of a Vermont public high school next month — Black History Month — after a student group pressed the school board for the move amid complaints about "white privilege" and "implicit bias," the Burlington Free Press reported.
The board unanimously approved the hoisting of the Black Lives Matter flag outside Montpelier High School during February, the paper said, after members of the student-led Racial Justice Alliance spoke to the board Jan. 17.
"Vermont has a long history of being at the forefront of civil rights movements," Montpelier Public Schools said in a statement, the Free Press reported Wednesday. "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."
What else do the the Racial Justice Alliance students want?
The Racial Justice Alliance students said in statement to the board that the Black Lives Matter flag would be one element of a wider campaign that includes curriculum changes, administrative training, faculty in-service training, a schoolwide assembly and other moves, the paper said.
"And yet, we need to do more to raise our predominantly white community's collective consciousness to better recognize white privilege and implicit bias," the Racial Justice Alliance's statement added, according to Free Press.
The group also noted, the paper said: "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. 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."
What about those in the community who disagree with flying the Black Lives Matter flag?
The school board said it's aware some community members might be against the move and welcomes those who disagree into "constructive and peaceful dialogue, in the hopes of deepening our shared understanding of race and privilege in our education system and broader community," the paper said.
(H/T: The College Fix)