PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – What many people call an offensive flag is causing some unpleasantness in Pleasantville.
The village’s school superintendent has asked a homeowner to take down the political pageantry because it contains a profanity.
It hangs on a house across the street from a school, and contains a word most parents don’t want their kids to read, or speak.
At the Bedford Road Elementary school, students are getting a lesson in civics, and perhaps civility.
Across the street from the school, a Trump 2020 flag flies from the front porch of a single family home.
School officials say the problem isn’t the politics, it’s the profanity.
The message on the flag reads “Trump 2020 No More BS,” except the BS part isn’t abbreviated – it’s spelled out.
“Kids ages 5 to 10 go by that flag every day and they can read,” said parent Marise D’Souza.
“Has your son asked you about that word?” CBS2’s Tony Aiello asked.
“He hasn’t. He’s still learning to read,” D’Souza replied.
“That bothers me. Across from a school. If it was anywhere elese, I don’t care. But the kids – very impressionable,” said parent Donna Belmont.
Some 600 kids, grades K through 4, attend the school.
After concerns reached superintendent Mary Fox-Alter, she spoke with the homeowners.
“In the spirit of being a good neighbor, in the spirit of partnership… would you please remove the flag with the obscenity on it. I absolutely understood that he had freedom of speech, had nothing to do with the politics behind it,” she told Aiello by phone. “They had no intention of taking down the flag.”
Off-camera, the homeowner told Aiello he and his wife are big fans of President Donald Trump, and also big fans of the First Amendment. He told Aiello kids are exposed to worse everyday online, and some parents have privately encouraged him not to back down.
“I believe in free speech, and I believe in the ability to express your opinions, but I think this is a community, and people need to think about what they’re putting out there, especially in front of our children,” D’Souza said.
The flag is flying – red, white and blue language.
Trump got about 40 percent of the 2016 vote in the village of Pleasantville. He won the larger surrounding town of Mount Pleasant.