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Posted under: News Culture

This Vermont High School Is Recognizing The History Of Slavery By Raising BLM Flag For 400 Days

Rutland High School students are following the precedent set by Montpelier High students who made history flying the BLM flag in 2018.

Another Vermont high school has adopted the Black Lives Matter flag, this time to commemorate the 400th anniversary since slavery began in America.

The Philadelphia Tribune reports the proposal was approved on Tuesday with no dissenting votes by members of the Rutland City Board to fly the flag at Rutland High School. 

The proposal was presented to the council by Greta Solsaa, a member of the student club New Neighbors.

Students, donned in "Black Lives Matter" T-shirts and holding posters of famous activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., also requested that anyone who desired to see the raising of the flag is approved to do so. 

“This is how changes are done from the ground up,” said Hurley Cavacas Jr., a school board member. "You did an awesome job and we hope that you would talk about things at school to be able to help us, so we see more of this in action.”

Over 200 locals crowded the room for the decision, which was met with a roaring burst of excitement at its conclusion, reports The Rutland Herald. Students, parents, teachers and organizers hugged and cried tears of joy, citing the previous meeting that led to no result.

“They [the students] came to you with hope and you returned it with skeptical ambivalence at best, and willful hatred and ignorance at worst," President of the Rutland NAACP Tabitha Pohl-Moore said about her discontent with the previous ruling. "These kids asked you to simply say, ‘We see you.’”

Pohl-Moore congratulated the Rutland High students for their win but continued to condemn the school board. She says during the last discussion, one referred to Irish persons as people of color and another used a racial slur.

“That’s why Black lives matter,” Pohl-Moore continued. “If we don’t make them matter, no one else will.”

Following the previous loss, students presented to the school board before their victory and explained the correlation of Black Lives Matter and the experience of Black Americans to this day.

The flag will be raised on the pole below the American and Vermont flags for 400 days beginning April 12, the anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. The 400 days represents 400 years since 1619, the documented beginning of enslaved Africans in America.

Rutland High School follows a list of other high and middle schools in the state that have adopted the pro-Black flag since Montpelier High became the first to make history doing so last year, as Blavity reported. Watch the video below for more: 


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Jazzi Johnson is a full-time writer, content creator, and producer. Raised a southern gal who blossomed into adulthood in NYC, she's recently moved to Los Angeles to continue exploring all things related to storytelling. Follow her for more.