An American school board in Wisconsin has voted to ban and remove all LGBT pride and Black Lives Matter flags from its classrooms, saying they represent political messaging. According to Fox 6, superintendent Stephen Plum explained that the vote, which took place last Tuesday, meant that the teachers and administration of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine School district would "not have political flags or religious messaging in their classroom or on their person."
Specifically, the board of the American school voted in favour of keeping a code of conduct that prohibits school staffers from using their positions to promote partisan politics, religious views and propaganda for personal, monetary or nonmonetary gain.
Superintendent Plum says that this policy is interpreted by the Wisconsin school district as meaning that teachers are prohibited from displaying political and religious messages in classrooms, including ones such as gay pride, BLM, MAGA or "We Back the Badge" flags and signs. It also prohibits using preferred pronouns in email signatures.
The vote was held after several students and community members of the American school objected to the policy, arguing that such flags signalled to students that the school was a safe space for them and that the ban on such messaging was "setting students up for academic and society-based failure and affecting the community."
Two high-schoolers in the district also launched a Change.org petition ahead of the vote, calling to overturn the policy, which gained some 13,000 signatures.
Christine Donahoe, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, also slammed the policy, arguing that it looks like "targeted attacks at specific viewpoints, like LGBT communities or welcome and safe spaces to students of colour".