Two schools in the U.S. state of Vermont have received approval by their school boards to fly the flag of the anti-police brutality Black Lives Matter movement at their schools after successful campaigns by students of color as part of their Black History Month actions.
Local media reported Wednesday that Burlington School Board voted Tuesday evening to unanimously approve a student proposal to fly the flag starting this coming Monday.
This comes after Montpelier High School, also in Vermont, became the first one in the United States to raise the Black Lives Matter flag earlier this month after a similar campaign by its students.
"It's really important to highlight the fact that this is the first step. Getting the flag up was the first step and now conversations are happening and things are actually changing in our curriculum, education, and everything else. This is the first step," Burlington High School student Balkisa Abdikadir was quoted as saying by local broadcaster NBC5.
While the school board welcomed the proposal for the Black Lives Matter flag, it said that any other flags or symbols other students wish to raise would have to be authorized by the board.
More than 450 students signed a petition in favor of raising the flag, which was then presented to the school board by the students of color leading the campaign. The student's group behind the action is called Soical Justice Union at the Burlington School Board.
"By raising the BLM flag, we are asking the board to support all of its students. This is an opportunity for the Burlington community to unite to show where our moral compass points: toward progress," the students said, reading from their resolution which they presented to the board according to USA Today.
Also according to NBC5 channel the students were praised by the school’s district officials for understanding the process of pursuing such demands and seeking the proper channels and presenting a strong case for the flag, which will continue to be raised until the end of school year.
The Black Lives Matter movement was born out of a viral hashtag following a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
It has since evolved into a movement against police killings of Black people, taking off following the high-profile cases of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, all of whom were unarmed.
The movement has been attacked by white supremacist groups as well as pro-police organizations over what they call “racism” because it focuses only on African Americans and not “all lives” and also falsely accusing it of advocating for police killings.