Gay pride and Black Lives Matter (BLM) flags will be banned in Wisconsin classrooms because of their political messaging.
Wisconsin School Board Pushback
Last week a Wisconsin school board voted to ban teachers from displaying Black Lives Matter, BLM, and gay pride flags in children’s classrooms, citing undue political messaging.
Only one member opposed the Kettle Moraine School District in southeastern Wisconsin. The school board allowed a one-hour public comment period.
In July, when the guidelines were first revealed, Superintendent Stephen Plumsaid said that political messaging makes pupils and staff feel ‘uncomfortable,’ according to CNN.
Board member Kelly Brown said that of the emails and phone calls she received from people both outside and within the district, 80% of comments from locals were in favor of the policy. “I’m good with the decision.”
Personal Interest Classroom Flags
The ban includes religious flags, Make American Great Again flags, and anything political. The ban doesn’t include flags on display that support the police.
The ban’s policy prohibits staffers from using their positions to promote partisan politics, religious views, and propaganda for personal, monetary, or nonmonetary gain. District staff is also barred from including their preferred pronouns in their email signatures.
“If you have a policy that says ‘nothing political,’ does that mean you can’t have a sign up that says, ‘Support our Troops,’ or ‘Believe Women’ or ‘Save the Planet?’ By some people’s definitions, all of those things are political,” ACLU attorney Christine Donahoe said.
Maryland Schools Ban Similar Flags
The Carroll county school board voted to develop a new flag policy that may only allow the US flag, Maryland state flag, and Caroll County flag to be displayed in classrooms. The vote came after Pride flags were donated to the school by a national LGBTQ group, the Westminster chapter of PLFAG, and were “encouraged” to display them on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
School board president Kenneth Kiler feels the flags were forced down “teachers’ throats to put on their desks, and that is not inclusive.”
Parents found the donation concerning and said that pride flags are being forced on teachers only to represent the gay community. The Superintendent said the flags were not forced on anyone but could take one if they wanted to.
Earlier in the year, the school district revised policies to include being neutral in classrooms to avoid such issues unless aligned with the school’s curriculum.
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