BREAKING NEWS: BLM banner removed at MHS

The Black Lives Matter banner at Marblehead High School has been removed, prompting an investigation, according to acting Superintendent Michelle Cresta.

“We became aware of it earlier this week,” Cresta told the Current.

When asked if the high school planned to replace the flag, Cresta responded, “We are having on-going discussions regarding the flag.”

The Marblehead Racial Justice Team is offering to pay for a new BLM banner at MHS.

“We’re saddened to hear that this occured. It is going to make a lot of students feel unappreciated and unweclome,” said Rev. Jim Bixby of the Clifton Lutheran Church, who sits on the MRJT.

“We are aware that there was conversation before about how the flag could be interpreted,” Bixby added. “We don’t believe in any way that it can or should be construed to represent antisemitism.”

In the spring of 2021, some parents started a petition to remove the BLM flag, saying that BLM supports Palestinians and Hamas. Some BLM activists — unaffiliated with the national group — have shown support for the Palestinian cause and even Hamas in the past. The Anti-Defamation League points out on its website, “It is important to note that Black Lives Matter chapters are run independently from the national Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, and many are completely unaffiliated. The Black Lives Matter national organization has not yet commented on the current Israel-Hamas war.”

A local rabbi, social justice activists and then-superintendent John Buckey said the banner should stay.

Today, Bixby reiterated that the BLM banner “is what it says, that Black lives matter. That message should remain.”

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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