WBHS flagged for fire code violation
By Rachel Gergetz, Current Staff
As soon as he stepped into the library, John Skidmore knew something was different.
The life-size flags hanging in the library of West Bend East High School for the last two years were removed Dec. 3. The flags were handmade by social studies students one to two years ago and showcased the colors and designs of various countries around the world. But the flags violated the fire code that says artwork must be at least two feet away from the ceiling.
“The inspection stated they had to come down,” East principal Darci VanAdestine said.
Media center aide John Skidmore enjoyed having the flags in his sights while working.
“I will miss the colorful cavalcade of student achievement that it has provided and the change of pace from our otherwise drab scenery,” Skidmore said. “But I understand the reasons for it.”
“The inspection stated they had to come down.”
– Darci VanAdestine, East principal
East social studies teacher Scott Mindel was the one behind the idea to display the flags in the East library. He says hanging the student flag projects is a WBHS tradition that goes back at least 15 years.
“I understand fire code regulations, however, the reason why I suggested that they be in the library, number one, so we could display student work, number two, it expresses a multicultural feel to the high school, and number three, it puts more color in the East library,” Mindel said.
East junior Aananya Saini added that she thought the flags “brought color to the dead room.”
VanAdestine is not sure where the flags could be relocated but stated that she is “definitely open to suggestions.”
East junior Kritika Gupta suggested hanging them in the hallways, if it does not violate fire code.
(Top image: East library traditionally hangs student-made flags above the tables. Photo courtesy of Melissa Arps.)