A California school district in the East Bay is stirring up a storm by seemingly targeting LGBTQ Pride flags. Here’s the story.
Nestled in the heart of the East Bay, Sunol Glen Unified School District serves 270 K-8 students.
Parents & Staff Furious
Angry parents and teachers went head-to-head with trustees at a school board meeting when the Sunol Glen school board voted to ban the display of banners other than the American or California state flags.
School Board Refuses to Back Down
Superintendent and Principal Molleen Barnes defended this change during a board meeting, stating, “The symbol of the flag solidifies that message.”
School Board President Doubles Down
Board President Ryan Jergensen explained the board’s stance, saying, “When a school starts endorsing any single particular point of view, that can be divisive. The school should be inclusive of all. Individual views are irrelevant. I prefer to seek more for what unites us as a school.”
Committed to Unity?
This perspective emphasizes unity, but it has generated debate about the school’s commitment to diversity.
Pride Flags Seized
One hundred fifty community members, many of them holding rainbow boas and Pride flags, were kicked out of the school cafeteria after a public comment.
Measure Passes – Anger Ignites
The board then passed the measure 2-1, leaving parents, teachers, and students in disbelief.
Parents and board members who opposed the policy noticed that the policy was announced shortly after a Pride flag was hung in front of the school in June 2022.
Angry Parent Warns Others
Joel Souza, a concerned Sunol Glen parent, commented that the school district and local community used to feel very safe and accepting, “But there are clouds on the horizon and that’s very unfortunate. This is just an obviously backdoor attempt to ban the Pride flag and everything the flag represents”.
Not Every Vote Counts
Some parents are angry that only Sunol residents can vote for the Board of Trustees.
Surrounding Areas Fear They’re Next
With only a quarter of the families residing in town, the rest commuting from other parts of East Bay, this decision has set a precedent that could affect schools far and wide leaving the surrounding areas on edge.
Precedent Setting Controversy
Diana Rohini LaVigne, a concerned parent, said, “Sunol Glen is a tiny school; it’s really, really small. But this could be precedent-setting. Folks around us – Livermore, Pleasanton, Hayward, Fremont – they’re all looking at us as an example of what could happen.”
More LGBTQ Policies Targeted
In late August, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education “to immediately halt the enforcement” of their mandatory gender identity disclosure policy.
All Eyes on California
Legal battles over LGBTQ rights are heating up across the state. Outside of Sunol Glen, California is making history of its own.
In a groundbreaking move, the California Assembly passed a resolution recognizing August as Transgender History Month, making the Golden State the first in the nation to take this progressive plunge.
A Community Divided
This move signals a commitment to acknowledging and celebrating transgender history and contributions, acting almost opposite of the controversy at Sunol Glen.
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The post USA First! Exclusion of Pride Flags in the Name of Patriotism first appeared on Fistful of Dollars.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.