High school's "Avenue of Flags" too controversial

Filed under: Day Care & Education

Officials at a high school in Gainesville, Georgia have decided to move a display of international flags -- intended to celebrate the diversity and unity of the community and representing countries doing business in the area or to which students have ties -- indoors to avoid protests over immigration. "We don't want the Avenue of Flags to be a place where people have a demonstration. We don't want to create a situation where some outside group may use the Avenue of Flags for their own political purpose," said school board chairwoman Lee Highsmith.

The display was set up last summer as a tribute to the high school's increasingly diverse student body. According to the state education department, about 41 percent of the student body is hispanic, with just under a third being white and about a quarter being black.

The flags will likely be moved inside to the school's cafeteria. "The flags will still be there to serve the children," Highsmith said. "They will still have an opportunity to research the flags and understand the countries they come from. The educational intent of the flags doesn't change, just the location."

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