Despite growing opposition, Essex-Westford school board gives BLM flag another year
By Guy Page
Three more Essex-Westford School Board members Tuesday night joined longtime Black Lives Matters flag opponent Liz Cady in voting against flying the BLM flag on school property. However, the board voted 6-3 to continue flying the controversial flag.
According to school board bylaws, the votes of Westford board members each count as only half a vote. The “No” votes were Elizabeth Cady and Jack Behlendorf (both of Essex), and Westford board members Andre Roy and Scott Cooledge.
This spring, Cady was the only board member to oppose the BLM flag. However, strong local grassroots activism – including a large crowd present Tuesday night – has led other board members to vote with her. The flag has become a lightning rod of public opinion for and against the district’s controversial CRT-based ‘equity and diversity’ instruction.
Also, the decision to fly the flag will be reevaluated in a year – in contrast to the original motion which would have let it “fly indefinitely.”
Board members voting ‘yes’ and up for election next spring are Al Bombardier and board chair Kim Gleason. Behlendorf also is up for re-election. Gleason has come under criticism for no longer owning a home in Essex while living in Grand Isle. She has refused to resign.