An Oregon school board banned pride flags and Black Lives matter symbols in classrooms earlier this week. Educators are no longer allowed to have such as the school board believes they are political and divisive.
Oregon School Board Explains Move
According to NBC News, one of the Oregon School Board’s members, Brian Shannon, said that they do not pay teachers to push their political views on students as that is not their place. Shannon was quoted by NBC News saying, “Their place is to teach the approved curriculum, and that’s all this policy does, is ensure that’s happening in our schools.”
After the banning, students, teachers, and parents rallied in Newberg, Oregon, to oppose the move by the school board. In a video posted in Smash Da Topic, students can be heard shouting, “Bring our stickers back!” Many educators assured that they would push for an explanation and fight to get the pride flags and Black Lives Matter symbols back on their classroom doors.
After the protest, NBC News said the district released a statement saying their move to ban pride flags and Black Lives Matter symbols is a way to ensure all students feel safe regardless of their background or identity by maintaining political impartiality in classrooms.
Other school districts also targeted the LGBTQ symbols. One is Missouri, and it resulted in a teacher resigning after being told to remove the rainbow flag from his classroom. In Jacksonville, Florida, some students reportedly harassed classmates who were part of the Gay Straight Alliance club, and they also stomped on pride flags. Pride symbols were likewise removed in schools near Dallas.
LGBTQ Members, Parents, Students, Teachers Speak Up
16-year-old Victor Frausto, a student at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, and the president of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance told NBC News that feeling safe should not be political as his school also removed the pride stickers in their institution. He added that when a teacher puts up an LGBTQ sticker, the message conveyed is when you go into that classroom, the person will not be hated for who they love or what they identify as. Now that the stickers are banned, he gets the message that he does not fin in that classroom and should not be there.
A gay man from Newberg named Zachary Goff launched a petition online against banning pride flags and stickers. He said that he feels he should never know the names of the people on the school board or stand up against them. A bisexual named Chelsea Scotts, who works at an elementary school as a behavioral interventionist, said her mental health deteriorated because of the new policy introduced.