Wisconsin school board retains ban on pride flags, political items

“We want all staff members to support all students. We don’t want to have conflict between students or conflict between staff members.”

Updated: August 18, 2022 - 3:32pm

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The Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin voted on Tuesday to uphold an existing ban on pride flags and other political items in the classroom.

The board unanimously approved the policy in a prior meeting, though one member flipped their vote on Tuesday during an open-to-the-public meeting after hearing from students and staff, according to the Epoch Times. The policy also prohibits teachers from identifying their preferred pronouns in emails or displaying political or religious messaging on their clothing.

Board President Gary Vose was quick to clarify that the ban applied not just to pride flags, but to political messaging for all persuasions, including MAGA material, Thin Blue Line flags and religious icons.

“I’d also point out that this policy is much broader than pronouns or pride flags,” he said. “We need to understand that although that was the issue that was really raised by the public tonight this gets well beyond that.”

Vose went on assert that the policy aimed to avoid a situation in which teachers who opted against displaying certain imagery in their classrooms on an individual basis were seen to be unsupportive of their students.

“Clearly it is our intent to have all staff members support all students and I would submit that by having pride flags in some classrooms and not in others that — maybe it’s not the intent— but it could send the message that some staff members want to support students with various lifestyle choices and others do not,” Vose said.

“And we don’t want that in Kettle Moraine,” he added. “We want all staff members to support all students. We don’t want to have conflict between students or conflict between staff members.”

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