Maryland school board bans 'political' and 'very concerning' Pride flags

Maryland school board bans 'political' and 'very concerning' Pride flags
Carroll County, Maryland Public School Board of Education meeting, April 13th, 2022 (screengrab/CCPS/YouTube).

A Maryland school board has banned the LGBTQ pride flag by falsely claiming it is “political,” a “gateway for other flags,” and even claiming ones provided by PFLAG for free to those who wanted them were “shoved down teachers’ throats.”

The move came in response to a local chapter of PFLAG donated “a collection of small rainbow Pride flags” to the Carroll County Public Schools district. Fox News reports that “school staff members were encouraged to display them as support for the LGBTQ community.”

“These flags were shoved down teachers’ throats to put on their desk – that’s not inclusive,” school board President Kenneth Kiler said. “That’s not the way it ought to be.”

School board member Tara Battaglia said, “What this does is open up a gateway for other flags to come into our schools that other people will not like.”

“We’ve already banned the Confederate flag, and that was done a couple of years ago. … The premise behind the Pride flag was social advocacy … which is political.”

Parent Caitlin Edmondson told Fox News the pride flags are “very concerning” and “being forced upon teachers. They “do not solely represent the gay community. They also represent gender identity and transgender ideology.”

(“Gender identity” and “transgender” are not ideologies).

“As a parent of a 6-year-old in CCPS, it is very concerning that anyone would think it is OK to push these agendas on our youngest and most vulnerable,” Edmondson added.

Fox News reports the school's superintendent made clear the flags were not “forced” on any teacher, and did not report any teacher complaining they were.

School board member Donna Sivigny during last week’s meeting suggested the LGBTQ pride flag is part of a political agenda that students need “protecting” from. She also suggested the flags created a hostile work environment,

“I also respect the rights of teachers to work in a non-hostile work environment, deliver an effective lesson and support all kids in the best way that they can, but we require that they do it in a politically neutral way that creates a safe space for every student in our schools,” said Sivigny, who opposed masks in schools last fall, asking, “Where’s the emergency?

She claimed, “many teachers have reached out to me saying that they’ve been pressured or bullied to put flags in their classroom, and that’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

The right-wing local group Concerned Parents of Carroll County supported the move to ban the pride flags. They say they are working with another right-wing group, Moms for Liberty, to provide American flags for classrooms in the district.

Numerous parents spoke at last week’s meeting, with several warnings that LGBTQ students are at risk, including for suicide. One parent (video below) made clear board members are creating a hostile environment.

“Any youth in this county who’s LGBTQ who commits suicide, that is on you,” she warned. The board was unmoved.

CCPS Board of Education Meeting April 13, 2022 youtu.be

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