Growing Number of Schools Opt to Ban LGBTQ and BLM Flags
'We don’t pay our teachers to push their political views on our students'
Schools across the country are turning away from "politically charged" LGBTQ “pride” and Black Lives Matter flags, describing them as "divisive."
The Independent reported:
“The bans have sparked concerns with many students and teachers resigning, protesting or being suspended for voicing their opinion on the schools’ action."
Brian Shannon, school board director and vice-chair of Newberg Public Schools, said:
“We don’t pay our teachers to push their political views on our students. That’s not their place."
“Their place is to teach the approved curriculum, and that’s all this policy does, is ensure that’s happening in our schools,” Shannon added.
Superintendent Joe Morelock said he would meet the district’s attorneys before enforcing the policy.
“This feels so draconian … this feels so anti-everything,” board member Brandy Penner said.
“Anti-free speech, anti-free expression, anti-safety.”
Board member Ines Peña who wore both a Black Lives Matter shirt and a “pride” rainbow headband during the meeting, argued students were not allowed to discuss the decision and said they felt discriminated against.
“The quality of some of the stories that we heard should count more than just the number of emails that we received,” said Peña.
“And I feel like that’s not being heard. The students are not being heard.”
Davis School District in northern Utah recently banned Black Lives Matter flags from its buildings several years ago.
“So, no flags fly in our schools except for the flag of the United States of America,” said district spokesman Chris Williams.
Natalie Cline, a Utah Board of Education member, said classrooms should not be a place for “identity politics."
Community activists argue LGBTQ and black students need flags to feel welcome.
“These people who want to remove the flag, they don’t understand what it means to us,” said Amanda Darrow, director of youth, family, and education at the Utah Pride Center.
“That flag represents love and acceptance.”
LGBTQ activist group GLAAD member, Mary Emily O’Hara, said flag bans “are harmful messages that youth and adults alike recognize as hurtful discrimination, when the message should be that we include, protect and value the most vulnerable among us.”
“Displaying an LGBTQ pride flag is an inclusive and harmless way to show LGBTQ people they are welcome and safe,” O’Hara said.