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District apologizes for Confederate flag displayed at school’s Veterans Day assembly

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 9, 2017, 9:40 p.m.

The Tumwater School District sent a letter home to families on Thursday, apologizing for the display of a Confederate flag that was part of a student leadership program during a Veterans Day assembly.

The 530-student school is named after black pioneer George Washington Bush. He and his wife, Isabella, and their children were among the first settlers in South Sound.

The district’s letter read: “Today many of our schools hosted Veterans Day assemblies to honor those who have served our country.

“Part of the assembly held at Bush Middle School included their student leadership class presenting a chronological American history displaying 14 different flags from 1775 to the present.

“Among the flags displayed was a Confederate flag and one of the two students holding the flag was a student of color. This leadership student was not assigned to this specific flag, but the student holders got out of order during the program.

“Nevertheless, the presence of the flag itself in this program failed to honor our commitment to ensure a safe, respectful, and culturally sensitive school environment at all times. We extend our sincere apology to this student, her family, and all others offended by this incident. We will work with our staff to ensure this and other programs are carefully planned to ensure an inclusive school environment.”

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