Gwinn High School removes gay pride flags

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
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GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - The Gwinn school district has removed gay pride flags from classrooms.

Around Gwinn High School pride flags are nowhere in sight. Three flags were removed last week after a school board meeting, where the board discussed the district’s flag policy, but took no formal action.

Superintendent Brandon Bruce says the flags were taken down after meeting with lawyers.

“It was shared with me that the definition of a pride flag would fit under the political ramifications of a flag being flown,” Bruce said. “Our policy does not promote that; it is not allowed in the classrooms in that realm and that is where that decision ultimately came from.”

Parent of an LGBTQ+ high school student Tammy Wills opposes the removal and says it has led to an increase in bullying.

“I think it was reckless of the superintendent to just take the flags down without any kind of plan or foresight on how this might affect students,” Wills said. “I know that the bullying since the flags came down has increased dramatically.”

Wills says the flag is not a political symbol and is more of a way to mark a safe space for LGBTQ+ students.

“When you saw that flag in the classroom it was more or less saying you will not be bullied, this is a safe place for you,” Wills said. “I don’t think that adult members of the school board get to interpret what the meaning of the flag is for the LGBTQ students.”

Bruce says the school district is working on starting an equity and inclusion committee to find other ways to ensure students feel safe and welcome.

“We have a diversity equity and inclusion committee right now that is working towards what we can do to support all of our students,” Bruce said. “Ultimately that is our goal, we have all students when we start talking about our student body, not just one specific group.”

Superintendent Bruce says any concerned parents and community members can set up a meeting to meet with him personally. The next school board meeting is on Oct. 17.