Two California school boards pushed for banning Pride flags in a hugely controversial decision that has rattled the LGBTQ+ community.
Ban on Pride Flags
Conservative campaign gained momentum in California as two school boards voted to ban the display of Pride flags in their districts.
The Temecula Valley Unified School District enforced a ban on non-government and military flags, with a strong focus on suppressing Pride flag displays.
Conservative parents voiced their concerns, alleging that Pride flags at schools might lead children to question their sexual orientation and they might want to “Try it out,” a notion that is totally nonsensical as one’s sexuality is not a choice.
Temecula board rejected a resolution against bullying and harassment based on sexual or gender identity, with one board member saying she’s “not here to be social justice warrior-ed all the time.”
Only U.S. and California Flags
In Sunol Glen Unified, a meeting resulted in a narrow vote permitting only the U.S. and California flags to be displayed.
One board member in Sunol argued for the ban, reportedly getting into a shouting match with a school superintendent, Molleen Barnes, who called the decision “disheartening” and argued that she felt disrespected.
One board member admitted she voted for the pride flag ban due to fears of a lawsuit that could “bring this school down.”
Residents in Sunol expressed disappointment, arguing that even a compromise to restrict Pride flags was deemed unacceptable by conservative board members.
Rise in Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism
California witnessed a surge in anti-LGBTQ+ activism this year, with right-wing groups rallying against LGBTQ+-affirming policies in schools and local government.
Recent bans follow the Chino Valley Unified school district’s similar vote in June, showcasing an alarming trend against LGBTQ+ representation.
Some districts now mandate teachers to out transgender students to their families, bringing fear within the LGBTQ+ community.
Conservative groups protested at various school board meetings across California, at times resulting in violent confrontations, worrying the schools about safety and tolerance.
Students Deserve Access to Diversity
The Orange County Board of Supervisors also joined the anti-LGBTQ+ movement, voting to ban Pride flags from government flagpoles, sparking a standoff with the state.
California Governor Gavin Newsom stepped in, signaling his intention to sign legislation blocking schools from banning LGBTQ+ books while advocating for inclusivity.
The Temecula school district faced a hefty fine earlier this year for rejecting a history textbook mentioning LGBTQ+ activist Harvey Milk.
In response, Newsom said that all students deserve access to diverse literature, urging for the freedom to learn and understand the truth about the world.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kemal Aslan