HALIFAX, Massachusetts (WBZ) — Ten-year-old Charlie Eldridge is in the fifth grade at Halifax Elementary School. Recently his teachers and classmates hung peace flags up on the back walls of their classrooms. Charlie says they hung them as a reminder, “That up there was showing that everyone should have peace and not be rude, mean and just accept people for who they are.”
But the flags were recently removed after the principal received requests from parents who wanted to display other flags in the classrooms as well. In fact, the school’s superintendent sent home a letter addressing the issue saying some parents felt their kids were being “politically marginalized.”
“Under equal access laws and regulations, we have to provide access to numerous points of view and cannot discriminate based on a particular viewpoint,” the letter read.
Parents are weighing in on the matter. “It’s simply encouraging love and kindness I honestly don’t know why anyone would feel politically marginalized by that,” Evan Smith of Halifax said.
Moving forward all flags or symbols need to be approved by school administration in advance to prevent any confusion and unintended consequences. Meanwhile Charlie hopes to get a petition going to get the peace flags re-hung.
“I would love to see it back up. The flag is not political. It doesn’t take sides. It’s encompassing diversity and culture and come together and not make our differences divide us,” Charlie’s mom Lana Eldridge said.
On top of all of Charlie’s schoolwork, he’s just waiting on the teacher’s approval to start his petition. “I hope that they agree with my point and and hope that they sign and help me get at least 100 signatures,” Charlie said.
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