A growing number of U.S. schools are banning gay (LGBTQ) “pride” and Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags, saying they are too political and divisive.
In August, an Oregon school district voted to ban LGBTQ and BLM flags, as well as other “political” symbols and clothing.
“We’re not going to pay our teachers to force their political views on our students. That’s not what they’re going to do,” said Brian Shannon, board director and vice president of Newberg Public Schools. Their job is to teach an approved curriculum, and that’s all this policy does,” said Brian Shannon, board director and vice president of Newberg Public Schools.”
District Superintendent Joe Morelock said he would meet with the district’s attorney before implementing the policy, according to NBC News.
But board member Brandy Penner, a member of the board of trustees, said he would meet with the district’s attorney before implementing the policy. Brandy Penner (D) argued, “It’s anti-free speech, anti-safety.”
A few years ago, the Davis School District in northern Utah also banned LGBTQ pride and BLM flags from its buildings.
Administrators said the flags were too “politically charged,” according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
School district spokesman Chris Williams said. Our schools do not fly any flags other than the American flag,” said district spokesman Chris Williams, adding that sports team flags are the exception.
Natalie Cline, a member of the Utah State Board of Education, suggested that classrooms should not be a place for “identity politics.
But some on the left claim that LGBTQ and black students need the flags to feel welcome.
In September, John M. Wallis, a teacher in Neosho, Missouri, resigned after the school district asked him to remove the LGBTQ “pride” flags after a parent complained that he was displaying them in his classroom.
LGBTQ activist Mary Emily O’Hara said the display was harmless and welcome and safe.
But Newberg, an Oregon school board director, said the main purpose of the flag ban policy is “to take political symbols and divisive symbols out of our schools so we can focus on the difficult task of educating students in core subjects.