Miami-Dade County, FL – The 2022 General Election saw a wave of conservative candidates win seats on school boards across the nation, and Florida was no exception with even the bluest of its cities flipping red.
The Miami-Dade County Public School (M-DCPS) district has, for the first time in years, a conservative majority on its board. The recent election saw two parental rights advocates, Monica Colucci and Roberto Alonso, claim victory in their races, and positive changes for the students and parents of Miami-Dade County have come with those victories.
One such victory involves the placement of flags in Miami-Dade schools. Florida Statute (F.S. 1000.06) require that the United States flag be displayed by every publicly supported school or educational institutions, both outside on school grounds and inside each K-12 classroom. Additionally, the official flag of Florida, which is traditionally displayed second in honor position to the US flag, should be displayed daily on the grounds of each state educational institution, every county school building, and at each elementary and secondary public school.
When District 4 member, Roberto Alonso, toured the schools within his district he discovered that multiple schools and over 400 classrooms did not have the American flag displayed outside on their grounds or inside the classrooms. This lack of compliance with Florida laws prompted Mr. Alonso to propose measures to correct this issue district wide by ensuring that not only are Florida Statutes being adhered to, but that M-DCPS Policy 8810, which was adopted in 2011 and clearly states that the US flag shall be displayed outside schools and inside classrooms, be enforced and revised. Mr. Alonso proposed enforcing Policy 8810 and amending it to allow the district to remain neutral regarding the display of ideological, political, or controversial flags that do not form part of current and approved curriculum on school grounds. This proposed policy language was reinforced by referencing compliance with two other existing board policies covering Controversial Issues and the Parents’ Bill of Rights
Miami-Dade County Citizens Defending Freedom (CCDF-Miami-Dade), who has been developing working relationships with the M-DCPS board members, reached out to Miami-Dade County parents and residents encouraging them to show support for Mr. Alonso’s efforts. Citizens were encouraged to attend and speak at the school board meeting where the proposed flag policy revisions were to be discussed and voted on, as well as send an email to school board members in advance expressing their support for the proposal and asking the members to vote YES.
After a lengthy discussion, and input from community members, the school board directed the superintendent to review existing policies, statutes, federal guidelines, and amend School Board Policy 8810 to ensure that the American flag is appropriately displayed and to develop and implement a process to monitor compliance with the policy at all district schools.
CCDF-Miami-Dade applauds the actions taken by Mr. Alonso to ensure compliance to state statutes and district policy, and are supporting his efforts by donating American made United States flags to Miami-Dade County Public School classrooms.