Celebrating BLM flag

Milton resident Katrina Battle embraces Molly Gary after a unanimous vote from the school board that allowed Gary’s group, Milton for Social Justice, to raise the black Lives Matter Flag on the high school flagpole.

It took them two years, but students at Milton High School finally received permission from the school board to fly the Black Lives Matter flag at the school.

The victory was the culmination of an effort by the student group Milton for Social Justice, during which they had to organize their message, repeatedly state their case to the school board, explain the struggle for equity at a school that is mostly white, as well as the realities of institutional racism in society, and tolerate less-than-polite opposing remarks from some in the community through social media. Still, the group had community support, and the board, after establishing official procedures that would let the students fly the flag, voted unanimously to allow it.

Before voting to allow the flag to fly, the board on Aug. 12 adopted flagpole procedures that gave it the right to remove any particular flag at their discretion. Further, the board required the student group not only provide a rationale for flying the flag, but give a timeframe for how long the flag would stay up.

The timeframe the group gave was, “Until the end of institutional racism.”

Board member Rick Dooley also told the students that nothing bad has ever come from trying to shine a light in the darkness.

“So thank you for shining your light,” he said.

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