Gwinn School Board discusses pride flag ban
GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - The Gwinn Area School Board is discussing a new flag policy that would ban gay pride flags from classrooms.
Those against the policy change say the flag is a symbol of inclusivity. Banning it would lead to students being scared to express themselves.
“When we remove them from the space it creates more division, it creates more fear, it creates more prejudice,” Gwinn School Board Secretary Ashley Jenema said.
Supporters of the ban say the flag has become a political symbol, and it should not be allowed in classrooms.
“We are an inclusive school district,” Gwinn School Board President John Waldo said. “Unfortunately, beyond our control that symbol has become a form of separating segments of society.”
Waldo says any flag that is divisive should not be allowed in a school.
“Across the board left or right if it causes division amongst the school it needs to be gone,” Waldo said.
Trustee TJ Derwin says removing the pride flag could be seen by some students as discrediting their identity.
“I can see some of our students when you remove that symbol, they could see it as invalidating them,” Derwin said. “The new message to them would be just don’t talk about it, don’t bring it up, because it is just going to become politicized.”
During the school board meeting, Superintendent Brandon Bruce said the district does not need the flag in classrooms to support inclusivity in its schools.
“I don’t need that flag to say that this is a place where we include all, we are diverse, we are equitable,” Bruce said.
The school board president told TV6, that no action item has been presented for a vote and last night was a policy discussion. You can view the entire meeting on the school’s YouTube channel.
The board meets next on Oct. 17.
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