Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education Chairman James Barrett Courtesy of James Barrett
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education Chairman James Barrett Courtesy of James Barrett

Orange County

Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board unanimous in banning Confederate flag, swastika, other ‘threatening’ symbols

By Mark Donovan

mdonovan@heraldsun.com

August 17, 2017 09:49 PM

Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education on Thursday voted unanimously to specifically ban “the Confederate flag, swastikas and other threatening symbols” from its campuses, school board Chairman James Barrett said in an emailed statement.

Recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and other areas were cited in the message.

CHCCS thus joins Orange County Schools in banning the symbols. The Durham Public Schools is considering a similar ban.

In his statement, Barrett wrote: “Our Board of Education will always stand for safety, inclusion and acceptance of all. To that end, earlier this evening, our Board of Education took a hard stand on a very controversial issue. We realize our decision will not receive universal support. However, we continually claim the safety of our students is our top priority…well, tonight we became a safer school district.

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“Our Board voted unanimously to add definitive language to our bullying policy (Policy 1710) and our policy governing an orderly environment (Policy 4315) that specifically bans the Confederate flag, swastikas and other threatening symbols from our campuses.

“It is important to note that we have not had problems in this area, due to the tremendous leadership of our school principals and their respective teams. However, we took this proactive measure to make sure each principal had an airtight policy to stand on as they each work to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. This specific revision to the policy will prevent problems from arising in the coming months and years.”

Statement released by CHCCS Board of Education

Following is the text of the statement released by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education Thursday night:

Greetings CHCCS Students, Staff and Parents.

One thing we want our students to learn is that, at some point in each of our lives, we will surely have to take a hard stand. This lesson needs not only to be taught, but also modeled at the highest level.

Our Board of Education will always stand for safety, inclusion and acceptance of all. To that end, earlier this evening, our Board of Education took a hard stand on a very controversial issue. We realize our decision will not receive universal support. However, we continually claim the safety of our students is our top priority…well, tonight we became a safer school district.

Our Board voted unanimously to add definitive language to our bullying policy (Policy 1710) and our policy governing an orderly environment (Policy 4315) that specifically bans the Confederate flag, swastikas and other threatening symbols from our campuses.

It is important to note that we have not had problems in this area, due to the tremendous leadership of our school principals and their respective teams. However, we took this proactive measure to make sure each principal had an airtight policy to stand on as they each work to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment. This specific revision to the policy will prevent problems from arising in the coming months and years.

The recent events in Charlottesville and other places indicate more violence is on the horizon, and this measure was taken to ensure our students are not in harm’s way.

With this distraction behind us, we can now move confidently forward into an exciting new school year.

Thank you for your continued support.

James Barrett

Board of Education