According to members of a Maryland public school board, a few teachers feel pressured and bullied into displaying LGBTQ flags in the classroom following a donation by an LGBTQ group, as reported by Fox News.
The Westminster Chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays gave a bunch of LGBTQ rainbow flags to public schools in Carroll County as donation. The school teachers and staff members were encouraged to display these in classrooms.
On Wednesday, a school board meeting of the members brought up concerns of certain teachers who felt bullied into promoting the rainbow flags in the classroom. According to Fox News, displaying the LGBTQ flag also violates the recent political neutrality policy in the district.
These teachers believe that the students should be protected from the influence of all political agendas. It does not matter whether the agenda was right-wing or left-wing. Board member Donna Sivigny also said that the teachers have a right to work in a non-hostile or pressure-free work environment where they could focus on the needs of the children.
Political neutrality helps create a safe space for all students and teachers at the school. She said if teachers felt bullied into presenting flags associated with an agenda, then that issue had to be addressed at all costs.
Fox News noted that many people, including the school board President Kenneth Kiler, felt that the flags were forced on the teachers, and that is not the right way to promote inclusivity. Another board member Tara Battaglia also opposed the displaying of rainbow flags and called it a political move.
On the contrary, Superintendent Steven Lockard stated that the rainbow flags were not being forced upon anyone, instead they were for those school staff members who wish to have them.
The school board developed a new policy permitting only selected flags to be on display in classrooms to address the controversy. These included the US flag, the state flag of Maryland, and the flag of Carroll County.
The decision gathered support from parents and local groups who wished to make schools politically neutral. They believe that using classrooms for promoting political agendas will divide the students and take their focus away from learning.