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West Side’s Wall of Flags

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The CAT members

The CAT members

The CAT members

Samantha Grunden, Opinions Editor

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It all started in a diverse hallway filled with colorful flags in West Springfield High School. The new high school was built in 2014. Before that, the old West Side High had a hall of flags outside of the cafeteria. The display celebrated the diversity of the student body and countries around the world in which they’re from. In the spirit of the hallway, students and faculty came together to assemble a “Wall of Flags” in the new high school. Last school year, a survey was sent out asking the students and faculty what country they were born or grew up in and where their family originated from.

“If you walk around the school and you’re in the classes you see how there’s so many different people coming from different backgrounds,” said Iman Zafar, a senior who took part in creating the Wall of Flags. The creation was made possible through the work of the WSHS Community Action Team, CAT, which is a group of students and teachers that meet regularly after school to find ways to better our community. Using donations from the senior class last year, the action team decided to buy a flag representing each answer to the survey put out last year. In total, 51 countries were represented. Dr. Perrone the principal of WSHS, and maintenance helped plan where to hang the flags.

“The Wall of Flags is a symbolic representation and celebration of the amazing diversity in our school,” said Mr. Johnson, English teacher and advisor of CAT. “West Springfield Public Schools is one of the most, if not the most, diverse school districts in the state of Massachusetts,” continued Johnson. The Wall of Flags is not the first project that CAT has worked on. They also helped bring the colorful display cases that show the different countries students and faculty are from, into the lobby hallway. The Wall of Flags celebrates our schools uniqueness and encourages students to be accepting of everyone, no matter their background.

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West Side’s Wall of Flags