From the Argus
Flags at school draw differing views — Community members, educators contend diversity, values banners symbolize something other than clubs
By Christopher Nagy
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Some teachers at Howell High School are raising the same questions over the interpretation of the flag for the school's Traditional Values Club that community members have raised over the interpretation of the flag used by the school's Diversity Club.
Roughly 40 staff members at Howell High School met with Principal Margaret Hamill Thursday to air concerns over the recent decision to display the Traditional Values Club flag, which some see as a representation of the Christian faith.
The white flag sports a red, lower-case "t" set in a blue field in the upper left-hand corner of the flag. The teachers say the lower case "t" is really a cross. The flag is commonly identified as a Christian flag used in some churches.
"There are concerns about that Christian flag they might put up, and there are questions to whether it violates the separation of church and state," said teacher Doug Norton, president of the teachers' union.
Norton said teachers are also upset that they learned of the approval to display the flag of the Traditional Values Club through media reports.
Andrew Cureton, the student who started the TVC, could not be reached for comment, but Livingston Organization for Values in Education member Jason Woolford, who has helped the club get off the ground, said there's no question that the club's flag is a Christian flag.
"Absolutely. It's a cross there, no denying that," Woolford said. "What's cool about it is that it's a cross, but it also looks like a 't' for 'traditional values,' but these kids are not going to lie and say the flag is something other than it is. They know what the flag is. They're not trying to hide that it's a Christian flag."