Asst. principal's use of controversial image investigated

The Gadsden Flag was created during the American Revolution but has more recently been used by militant groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Gadsden Flag was created during the American Revolution but has more recently been used by militant groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. | 

WDIO-TV
Updated: January 19, 2021 10:59 AM
Created: January 18, 2021 04:29 PM

The Cook County School District in Grand Marais is investigating the appearance of a controversial image during a virtual morning announcement video.

An image of the Gadsden Flag was seen hanging on a bulletin board next to Assistant Principal Mitch Dorr during the school's virtual morning announcements on Jan. 14.

The Gadsden Flag was created during the American Revolution but has more recently been adopted by militant groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The flag was seen during violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Dorr apologized for the display of the image in his Jan.14 morning announcements. Dorr, a former history teacher, described the image as a "comic" that had a "joke context" but acknowledged that it has negative connotations.

"I didn't realize the some of the more present-day context would come out in that, and so I totally apologize to anybody who took that flag wrong, I know that it's got more negative connotations in today's era and that was certainly not my intention," Dorr said.

The Jan. 14 video has been deleted from the Cook County Schools' YouTube page.

Acting Superintendent Megan Myers issued a statement saying the district is investigating the complaints.

"Our School District understands that this announcement caused a great deal of concern and discomfort in our community. We take the concerns of our students, parents and staff very seriously as it is always our intent to have a welcoming environment to all," Myers wrote.

Myers said the district is having an independent investigation conducted, and cannot comment further on the investigation due to data privacy issues.

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