Education culture war finds a new target: Pride flags in classrooms – NBC News

Pride flags, which were created to promote unity, are being called political and divisive in some schools across the country. A recent example: An Oregon school board on Tuesday banned educators from displaying the flags. 

“We don’t pay our teachers to push their political views on our students. That’s not their place,” a school board member in Newberg, Brian Shannon, the policy’s author, said at a recorded board meeting. 

Several other school officials and students around the country have targeted LGBTQ symbols. A teacher resigned in Missouri last month after he was told to remove a rainbow flag from his classroom and that he couldn’t discuss “sexual preference” at school. Students at a high school near Jacksonville, Florida, were accused several weeks ago of harassing classmates in a Gay Straight Alliance club and stomping on pride flags. And in August, pride symbols were targeted at a high school near Dallas, where rainbow stickers were ordered to be scraped off classroom doors. 

Students, teachers and parents rallied Thursday in Newberg, Ore., to oppose an imminent vote by the school board that would prohibit Black Lives Matter and pride flags or banners in schools. John Rudoff / Sipa USA via AP

In most cases, administrators have said the LGBTQ emblems are divisive and “political.” LGBTQ students, parents and teachers affected by the bans contend that the new rules harm a vulnerable group of young people.

“Feeling safe should not be political,” said
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