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What's Bugging You: No American Flag at Lansing School

Caroline Vandergriff

What's Bugging You: No American Flag at Lansing School

CREATED Sep. 7, 2012

What's bugging you, Mid-Michigan? Lansing parents say they're shocked there is no American flag flying outside Riddle Elementary School.

The American flag waving proudly is a common sight in front of schools across the U.S., but at Riddle Elementary in Lansing the flag pole is bare.

"I come to find out that they haven't been flying the flag for a couple of years," said Melissa Wilson, whose two sons attend Riddle. "It bothers me as an American citizen, as an American parent."

Wilson says branches from a nearby tree have overgrown past the flag pole, so when the school tries to fly the flag, it gets ripped up.

"They actually have about three or four ripped up flags at the school in storage," said Wilson. "They have contacted the district, put in work orders, but the school district says they have too many work orders to come trim the trees so the school can fly the flag."

Robert Kolt, a spokesperson for the Lansing School District, says in the first week back to school, the district's focus has been on the safety of the students and on meeting classroom needs.

"So all the physical needs are also important and taken from a list of priority," said Kolt. "But there was a great restructuring of the Lansing School District in the past summer and we really had to focus the investment on the immediate needs, and this is an issue that will certainly be on the list. It may not be up high on the list."

But it's high on Wilson's list.

"It's good for the students to learn about their heritage and about being American," said Wilson. "It's important for them to honor the flag and know the importance of the flag."

Wilson is the vice-president of the PTA at Riddle. She says if the school district can't trim the tree, the PTA will raise the money to get it done themselves. Right now, the parents are working to get an estimate to see how much it would cost to get the tree trimmed.

Kolt says the Lansing School District is confident the problem can be solved, but it's a matter of time, money, and priority. The district says it would certainly welcome any help from parents if they can raise the money on their own.

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