Black students at Montpelier High School in Vermont raised a Black Lives Matter flag on Feb. 1 to mark the beginning of Black History Month.
Students, staff and community members attended the flag raising ceremony, which was approved unanimously by the school board.
The Black Lives Matter flag flies below the American flag on the same pole at the school, which is less than 5 percent black.
Student Joelyn Mensah, who founded the student group Racial Justice Alliance, told WPTZ:
People choose their flags because they want to represented and they want to be seen. We students do not feel like we are represented or seen in our education and we are here to raise the flag because we want to be seen and we will demand to be represented in our education.
Senior Zymora Davinchi stated:
In a lot of ways, our education has been robbed from us. We don’t have equal access to education. We don’t have equal resources because we don’t grow up learning anything about ourselves.
Principal Mike McRaith added:
We are committed to improvement and this dialogue and to work for equity and racial justice in our school system. We can and we must improve our educational system to be more culturally competent and ever more inclusive to the historically marginalized and oppressed.