After protest, Rocori school district reverses ban on flag display

Dozens of American flags fly from a row of student vehicles.
Dozens of American flags fly from a row of student vehicles Wednesday in the parking lot of Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minn.
Dave Schwarz | St. Cloud Times via AP

A central Minnesota school district has changed a policy that banned students from displaying flags or banners in their vehicles in the school parking lot after some students protested.

The guideline in the student handbook at Rocori High School in Cold Spring was a response to some students displaying the Confederate flag in their vehicles last year.

But some students objected to the new policy, saying it prevented them from displaying the American flag. A group of students showed their displeasure on Tuesday, the first day of classes, by showing up to school with U.S. flags in their vehicles.

Rocori administrators met with the students to discuss the concerns. According to a statement from Superintendent Scott Staska, the handbook guideline will be withdrawn.

Student leaders offered to support an approach that allows American flags to be displayed on vehicles while helping to encourage respect for others, the statement read.

"The students want their peers to feel safe and comfortable in school and understand that other flags can be disruptive and harmful or cause emotional responses in others," it read.

Staska said the situation helped raise awareness about the meaning and power of symbols and the effect they have on others.

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