POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County School Board on Tuesday decided to eliminate a tradition that’s been in place for more than two decades.
Board members voted to stop proclamations that recognize cultural groups and issues.
The meeting reached capacity and for two hours, the community shared public comments about whether to discontinue the practice of declaring proclamations. However, the school board ultimately decided against proclamations with a 5-2 vote.
The board’s decision reflects a similar move by county commissioners in June when a majority rejected a proclamation to recognize Pride Month and the LGBTQ community.
Some say the school board skirted around the issue by eliminating proclamations altogether and that it avoids celebrating cultural heritage.
“That’s a big part of our lives and something that the children look forward to,” Kaila Paige-Colmer said. “We’re learning about each other’s culture.”
However, others believe removing proclamations is a way to honor all students equally.
“It takes a lot of time to do proclamations,” Donna Hager said. “And when doing the proclamations, you can’t do a proclamation for everybody.”