Building Bridges…

A Message of Inclusivity from Liberty Bell Jr/Sr HS Principal, Crosby Carpenter

As many of you are aware, early this week, a student’s Pride flag was destroyed by another student. This led to an inspiring and peaceful protest that was coordinated by a handful of courageous 7th graders. On the same day, several students wore American flag paraphernalia in what they called a “counter protest”. There have also been several incidents in recent days where students on both sides of this unfortunate divide have been singled out for their beliefs and values.

One of our primary goals at Liberty Bell continues to be fostering a school climate and culture of inclusivity, empathy, and belonging, where every individual feels dignified. With this goal in mind, there is no place for bigotry and hatred – zero tolerance.

Rainbow wristband with red, white, blue wristbandSome people will suggest that if you’re uncomfortable with, or don’t agree with what the Pride flag stands for, you should fly an American flag in protest. I believe this is misguided and an attempt to fuel culture wars in schools. The Pride flag and the American flag are symbols of inclusivity and freedom. This is not a zero sum game. Both can coexist.

As one parent recently shared with me, “…we are pro people…” Liberty Bell will continue to operate under the norm that individuals are responsible for how they react to another person’s clothing/accessories, as long as those items are not perceived as harassment, bullying, or intimidation and are not detrimental to the learning environment. While it’s absolutely within our students’ rights to peacefully disagree with each other, it’s unacceptable to demean and degrade one another.

As always, I stand with all students regardless of their political or social views; I stand with what the American flag is intended to represent; I stand with what the Pride flag is intended to represent; I stand with all people.

Crosby Carpenter
Principal, Liberty Bell High School