ROCORI High School drops parking lot flag ban after protest

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School officials at ROCORI High School in Cold Spring, Minnesota are dropping a newly-implemented policy that banned all flags on vehicles in the student's parking lot, after students organized a peaceful protest.

The students were informed of the new policy on the first day of school on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the student parking lot was full of vehicles flying the American flag.

“We feel like this is America,” said Mitchell Rieland, a student who protested. “How can we not fly our flag on our trucks if we want?  It just doesn’t seem right.” 

School officials told Fox 9 the policy change was in response to a few students who flew Confederate flags on their vehicles last year. To prevent it from happening during the new school year, the school legally had to ban all flags from vehicles in the parking lot.

The text of the parking permit application read: “Students are not allowed to display flags or banners from their vehicles while parked in the ROCORI school parking lot.”

Administrators said they were proud of the students protesting because it was organized, peaceful and done with an effort not to be disruptive.

“The protest today was done very positively very appropriately, if you could have a protest you would want one like the students did today,” said Superintendent Scott Staska.

However, the flag ban also upset many members of the community and veterans who came out to support the student protest.

Protest organizers and school administrators had numerous conversations throughout the day about the controversy. By the end of the school day, administrators agreed to lift the ban and deal with all concerns on a case-by-case basis.