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Minnesota High School Reverses Ban on Flags

ROCORI High School students protesting a flag ban by displaying American flags on their pickup trucks – Lee Voss, WJON
ROCORI High School students protesting a flag ban by displaying American flags on their pickup trucks – Lee Voss, WJON

Cold Spring, MN (WJON News) – School administrators and student leaders have resolved the issue regarding a new school rule banning all flags and banners on vehicles in the school parking lot.

 
In a statement on the district’s website, as a result of the interactions, the handbook guidelines will be withdrawn by ROCORI High School.

 
Nearly a dozen pickup trucks boldly displayed American flags at ROCORI High School Wednesday after students were told of a change in the student handbook.

 
Superintendent Scott Staska says the change came after last spring when a number of Confederate flags began showing up on vehicles in the parking lot. He says school administrators are responsible for creating a safe and respectful environment for all students while balancing the rights outlined in the First Amendment.

 

“In a situation when there’s a difference of opinion, if you’re removing the one you’re limiting speech on one side and you’re allowing speech on the other side. So, it’s a fairly delicate balance on the issue of free speech. You know, part of it is also protecting everybody’s rights.”

 

Staska says he was proud of the students who protested respectfully by only allowing American flags to be displayed

 

“What we see out there today is an incredibly powerful message about the American flag and very, very impressive. We have a row of 18 trucks out there with an American flag off the back end. That display is very, very impressive. If we had that display every day without other controversial flags without other controversial issues, we’d be incredibly supportive of it.”

 
Staska adds there are no plans to discipline the students or confiscate their flags.

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