Decision to remove pride flags from school sparks complaints

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — A West Virginia school district’s directive to remove pride flags from classrooms is drawing complaints from students and community organizations.

County School Board Chairman Ron Lytle told The Gazette-Mail that the flags were removed because they went against the existing policy of “participating in political activities”.

“I think that was just a general statement that all flags should be taken down,” except for the American and West Virginia flags, Lytle said.

The policy states, in part, that “non-academic, political and/or business literature, or campaign posters supporting one or more candidates, issues, or particular point of view shall not be displayed in schools or on public buildings. schools owned or owned by the school. occupied property,” the media reported.

Morgantown Human Rights Commission Chairman Ash Orr said the flags were taken down on the second day of classes at Morgantown High.

More than a dozen Morgantown High School students and other gay rights advocates approached the Monongalia County School Board on Tuesday to voice their support for the flags, the Dominion Post reported.

Meanwhile, American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia staff attorney Nicholas Ward said in an email that “we have received a number of complaints from students and parents about the app. by the school of a disturbingly vague policy at Pride Flags, and we are taking a close look at the situation.”

“Promoting inclusiveness is not a political issue,” Ward wrote, “and any interpretation of the policy that suggests otherwise raises serious concerns about violations of the constitutional rights to free speech and expression”.

Lytle said the policy is legal and he supports its application as it is currently in effect, but the matter will be discussed again at the next school board meeting.

ABC News

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