The Franklin County School Board (FCSB) has officially banned the Confederate flag from the Franklin County students dress code after a unanimous 6-0 vote, less than six months after the board originally voted against the ban.

After the death of George Floyd, which has sparked outrage, protests and riots across the country against police brutality, many businesses and schools have taken notice.

FCSB Chairwoman Julie Nix said this decision is a way of letting everyone in the county know that they don’t want anyone to feel threatened or intimidated in a way that affects their learning.

“We don’t want this to be used to start an argument; we want it to be used to start a conversation,” she said. “Listen to one another and try to see things from a point of view that is not your own. In opening ourselves up to one another, we may find an understanding and compassion that will help us all come together in a way that our country so desperately needs right now.”

Nix said the decision to not ban the Confederate flag the first time was because there was very little evidence of incidents concerning the flag at Franklin County public schools and the community in general, but she also said the “atmosphere has now changed,” which gives them more legal ground to stand on with a ban. 

She said that she has seen comments on social media both for and against the school board decision, but the majority of the responses have been positive.

Read more stories in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services to view articles in the print and/or e-edition version.

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