Diversity flags celebrate LOHS student body

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After months of hard work, diversity council’s efforts paid off in the form of a new flag display in the cafeteria. With the aim of celebrating the diversity within the LOHS community, the 40 flags show each country of origin represented in the student body.

Spanish teacher and diversity council adviser Teresa Sanchez initiated the project as a step in working towards improving school culture and “opening minds so [students] get to know that we have people from other places here, and we can start learning about them and building community.”

Planning first started in October, and the full process included obtaining a list of countries to represent, getting permission from the administration, purchasing the flags and finally installing the display. Senior Haily Oldham, a member of diversity council, also played an instrumental role in bringing the project to life, helping with organization and creating the slideshow for the TV monitors in the hallway. “It was a lot of teamwork,” she emphasized.

Oldham also expressed that the flags will have a positive impact on the school, especially since LO is often criticized for its lack of diversity. She described the effect as, “seeing people walking into the cafeteria and saying, ‘Hey, that’s my flag’ – it makes them feel really recognized, which I think is a very important thing for our school and for students.” The display is also set to be continually expanding as gaps in representation are filled, so additional flags will be installed as needed.

Sanchez described, “When I come into the cafeteria and I see my flag there, I feel like I belong here and hopefully that is the feeling that the students are getting too.”