A piece of news has recently been released that has caused outrage for the LGBT+ community, as a couple of days ago, a school board in Wisconsin, United States, voted in favor of a new policy that prohibits both teachers and administrative staff display pride flags, censorship of political or religious messages or that refer to minorities, such as the slogans of the African-American community “Black Lives Matter”.
The decision was approved by the Kettle Moraine School District, which after legally analyzing the code of conduct for employees, after a unanimous vote during the month of July, concluded to prohibit staff from displaying flags or posters with political or religious tendencies. , as well as movement messages from groups like “Black Lives Matter” and “Back The Badge.”
After the initial legal analysis, the expectation is that teachers and administration do not have political flags or religious messages in their classrooms or on their person. This expectation includes pride flags.
– Stephen Plum, Kettle Moraine School District Superintendent
When questioned by a school board member as to what would be allowed to be worn by academic staff, Plum responded that crosses, necklaces and anything not worn directly on people’s faces is acceptable and allowed.
After the school board announced this new policy as one of its rules for staff, residents of the area, as well as some students, parents and former district graduates expressed their annoyance and assured that the measure was unnecessary, so was harshly criticized and an online petition was started to overturn the imposed decision.
Under the title “New Kettle Moraine Staff Policy: No Pride Flags in Classrooms or Pronouns,” Bethany Provan and Brit Farrar, a pair of LGBTQI+ students attending Kettle Moraine High School , launched a petition through the change.org site, with which they seek to eradicate the new restriction imposed by the school district.
Under the argument that when they enter a classroom and see a pride flag hanging it makes them feel identified and gives them comfort, as well as acceptance, the petition imposed by the girls has accumulated 14,039 signatures so far, but they hope that 15,000 votes in favor are collected to be effective.
Additionally, during the petition, the students wrote that following the school district’s decision, students walk the halls in fear, as several students have been victims of bullying and homophobic comments within the school.
A pride flag is not political, loving someone is not political. Think of all the students/kids who are afraid to go home because they don’t have the support of their families, but when they walk into school and their teacher has a pride flag hanging on the wall, they finally feel safe and supported. Removing this flag may seem simple, but it is not for students.
– Change.org site petition
As expected, the petition not only attracted the attention of the student staff, but by going viral, it drew attention nationally and internationally, where countless users have expressed their opinion against the new policy that, for the majority, is seen as absurd.