End Girl Scout Participation in Events with the Confederate Flag
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I am a current Girl Scout volunteer and my daughter is a Girl Scout and we LOVE the organization and all that it provides girls in it's programming however we attended what should have been a very benign yet enriching event last year. We signed up to march in the Va Beach, VA's annual Veteran's Day parade to pay homage and respect to our Veteran's for their sacrifice to this country. As my daughter and I waited on the side lines with other Girl Scouts to line up and enter the procession I witnessed two motorcyclists leading the parade with Confederate flags one of which had a blue line running through it. Further back in the procession there were Confederate reenactors dressed in their Confederate uniforms carrying various historical Confederate flags. I feel that it is inappropriate for an organization that serves a diverse population to promote an event where they will be confronted with a symbol that represents a history of oppression, slavery, and a divided country. The parade was promoted to Girl Scouts and their families through literature and their online system informing families of events. When parents sign their girls up for events they trust that these events are inclusive and culturally appropriate. Parents don't question whether their girls will be harmed in any way. To promote this event to unsuspecting girls and parents is wrong. To have girls of various ethnic backgrounds, especially African-American march in a parade that is lead by, participated in, and organized by those who uphold the ideals of the Confederacy is despicable. The Veteran's Day parade in Va Beach,VA is partially sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans so I in no way hold any illusions of ending the parade or discontinuing the use of the flag at this particular parade but I ask that Girl Scouts USA and my council Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast cease promoting activities to Girl Scout members and ban participation in events that fly the Confederate flag. I in no way want to impact a families personal choices and beliefs. If a girls family wishes to participate in such events that is their choice but the Girl Scout uniform and banner should not be permitted. I take this to heart as someone who is a Girl Scout member and a parent of a Girl Scout but you as an American citizen who supports Girl Scouts through supporting cookie sales and other Girl Scout initiatives, this should matter to you as well. I ask that you sign my petition to let the Girl Scouts know that it is not ok to support an out dated view of our country and definitely not ok to disrespect a portion of its own members. I have been in contact with my local council and feel as though that this will not come to a satisfactory resolution through them. I have also reached out to Girl Scouts USA and haven't gotten a response. I would like those who have supported Girl Scouts through the years to let them know that it is not ok for Girl Scouts to participate in functions and gatherings where the Confederate flag will be present, displayed and celebrated and if they choose to do so we will pull our support.
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