To the editor:
Flags are symbolic and have meaning to the person who displays them. My husband and I fly an American flag on our home; in June, we hung a pride flag. In Marblehead, the Black Lives Matter flag hangs in our high school; the colors of the pride flag are painted on the sidewalk near the visitors’ information booth. I assume we display these because Marblehead values inclusion.
I read in the Marblehead Current that parents who send their children to MHS from their home in Boston were upset when an unauthorized individual took down the BLM flag from a high school classroom. The parents said this act made their children feel unsafe and, further, one parent said, her child does not feel welcome in Marblehead.
As residents of Marblehead, we are all hosts of a METCO program where students travel back and forth from Boston every day to be taught by our excellent teachers and, hopefully, to feel a part of the Marblehead community. By having this program, we are saying we want Black children to come into our town, to go to our schools. We want them. If true, which I think it is, why wouldn’t we do everything in our power to make these students, and their parents, feel included?
Wouldn’t it be great if today’s METCO students chose to make their home in Marblehead in the future? Given the housing crisis this might be a tad unrealistic, but, let’s give it a shot by ensuring we are the kind of welcoming town we aspire to be.
A flag is just a symbolic gesture, but it speaks volumes.