Friday, 11 September 2020 20:16

Richmond County parents upset that flags weren't flying in front of schools on 9/11

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A parent says she snapped these three photos Friday morning of flagpoles bearing no flags Friday morning. A parent says she snapped these three photos Friday morning of flagpoles bearing no flags Friday morning. Photos contributed by Erin Fox

ROCKINGHAM — Erin Fox says she was dismayed Friday morning when she noticed several schools in Richmond County weren’t flying the U.S. flag out front.

Fox, who has a child in the school system, shared photos from West Rockingham, Washington Street and Fairview Heights elementary schools appearing to show no flags on the poles.

“And today of all days on 9/11 when these flags should be up at half-mast to remember all those this country lost that day, these (schools) still haven’t raised their flags,” Fox said.

She referenced Title 4 U.S. Code Chapter 1, which states in part: “The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.”

According to Fox, the anniversary of 9/11 wasn’t just an isolated incident.

She said she hasn’t seen flags flying at these schools since classes started back.

“There is no excuse for this,” Fox said, adding that she, her fiance and other parents of students have been trying to bring attention to the issue.

“We do not believe this is a social distancing problem because other schools in the county have raised their flags,” she said.

The mother later said that the flag was eventually raised at Washington Street.

Fox is very passionate about respecting the U.S. flag, as she said she comes from a long line of veterans.

“My father, grandfathers and uncles have all served,” she said. “I am engaged to a veteran who also comes from a long line of people that have served.For these schools to blatantly not raise these (flags) at a time like this and specifically on a day like this is a slap in the face to each man and woman that has fought to defend this flag and has died defending this flag. 

“There were so many people lost on this day 19 years ago raising that flag is a way of honoring them as well.”

Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Maples said there was no ill intentions at either of the schools.

“I take full responsibility,” he said.

Maples said he spoke with the principal of West Rockingham who told him that the physical education teacher and two fifth graders raise the flag every day, but usually not until around 8:20 a.m.

He added that there was no explanation at Fairview Heights and the Washington Street principal was out of town.

“We’ve taken corrective action to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Maples said. “We want to teach our students and staff to honor our flag.”


Last modified on Friday, 11 September 2020 20:26