Follow Up: ROCORI Putting Trust in Students With Flag Policy
COLD SPRING -- Tuesday, WJON is continuing our look at "Whatever Happened With That" by following up on whatever's happened since the ROCORI High School flag protests.
Back in September the town of Cold Spring received national attention, as students of ROCORI High School protested the banning of flags and banners on vehicles in the school's parking lot.
ROCORI High School Principal, Mark Jenson says they actually started having some issues last spring, stemming from confederate flags on display.
"Hearing from community members, staff and some students upset about the whole thing. We knew who the trucks [belonged to] who were carrying them, and we asked them if it'd be possible to not display the flag and walked them through what it stood for, what some people feel it stands for, and what others think it stands for, and really tried to work with them."
Jenson says even though they tried to settle the issue then, confederate flags still popped up throughout the rest of the school year. Finally, over the summer the school's staff decided they needed to handle the situation a different way. This meant they had to make the call that led to the protest.
"In our mind, you couldn't just single out one [flag]. You have to do none or all, so we decided that maybe we shouldn't have flags period, in the parking lot."
He says after they made the official policy change, they held a class meeting the first day of school, where there weren't many questions or concerns raised, until a post on social media later that night which escalated the situation.
Jenson says the day of the protest, they brought the students who participated in for a meeting, where they ended up apologizing for the amount of attention they brought to the school. He calls it one of the best days he's had as principal, because of the dialogue between students and school leadership.
While meeting with the student leaders, it was eventually decided the students should "police themselves" on this issue, Jenson says since that decision was reached, there have not been any problems.
Wednesday, we'll look at whatever happened with the idea to change the name of the 51 Building on the campus of St. Cloud State University.