ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – After months of back and forth discussions the Montgomery County School Board voted to ban students from displaying the confederate flag and other emblems. School leaders agreed changes needed to be made but there were concerns about when the ban should go into effect.
During Tuesday’s meeting, school board members, in a 4-2 vote, rejected a plan to make the ban effective January 1, 2016. Many believed more time is needed to educate administrators and students about the new policy. Instead, board members voted 4 to 2 to approve a February 1, 2016 start date.
Some said the later date provides opportunities for open dialogues about the history of the confederate flag, race-relations and other issues.
“My concern about this the entire time is that there has to be something the students learn that is on both sides of it,” said Joey Lyons, school board member. “I think giving that extra 30 days to allow students to be educated about the issue is important.”
Others believe the ban should go into effect sooner rather than later.
“The timing when it is going to be implemented is very disappointing,” said Penny J. Franklin, school board member. Very disappointed that we are just kicking this down the road, a little further and a little further. ”
School board members said they are glad to see the change in dress code policy being made. They hope the ban removes distractions from school activities and provides a more comfortable learning environment for all students.