WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A Worcester Catholic school has flown the Pride and Black Lives Matters flags for more than a year, but now the Worcester bishop is calling for school leaders to take the flags down.

The Nativity School of Worcester, a Jesuit middle school, started flying the flags in January 2021. But in a statement, Bishop Robert J. McManus said the flags contradict the school’s teachings.

“The flag with the emblem Black Lives Matter has at times been coopted by some factions which also instill broad-brush distrust of police and those entrusted with enforcing our laws. We do not teach that in our schools,” McManus wrote in a statement, adding “And, while we teach that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God, gay pride flags are often used to stand in contrast to consistent Catholic teaching that sacramental marriage is between a man and a woman.”

School officials released their own statement, saying the purpose of the flags is to make sure all students and families feel welcome.

“They are valued and safe in this place. It says to them that they, in fact, do matter and deserve to be respected as our Christian values teach us. That is the purpose of flying these flags,” the statement read in part.

Jamie Gvale is considering sending her son to the school, and said she wanted to see the flags flying.

“I want him to go to an environment where they’re accepting… so that my child thinks he should be accepting to other kids as well,” Gvale said. “Hopefully they don’t take it down and they stick to what they believe in. We all come from different backgrounds, we have different beliefs, let’s just be kind to each other and let people be.”

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox