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Tue Sep 22, 2020, 11:27 AM

This Teacher Is Fighting Back After Her School Board Banned Pride Flags In The Classroom

A teacher in Reno, Nevada, is quietly protesting a ruling from her school board that says she can't engage in political speech in the classroom including the display of a pride flag. Jennifer Leja teaches 7th and 8th grade in the Washoe County School District. Leja, who is bisexual, told BuzzFeed News she's the only openly LGBTQ teacher at her school.

She's always kept a pride flag in her classroom, along with an assortment of rainbow paraphernalia that students have given her over her five years of teaching. But this year, the flag had to go. Washoe County School District issued a new policy this year that bans "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

When Leja read the policy, she reached out to Trustee Andrew Caudill to ask if the policy included LGBTQ issues. She asked if, for example, she could display rainbows or mention that she has a girlfriend. In an email shared with BuzzFeed News, Caudill replied that yes, LGBTQ issues were included. "The courts have held LGBTQ+ issues to be political speech and thus, the rainbow flag [is considered] to be political speech, so it cannot be expressed through clothing and other means, such as displaying a flag in your class," he told her.

He also added that she is allowed to talk about her own sexuality or partner. "Who you are is not impacted by this policy, only what is expressed in class through visual aids," he told her. Caudill told BuzzFeed News that the policy doesn't just include LGBTQ issues, but "other kinds of speech such as Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, NRA, etc."

When asked about potential consequences for teachers who defy the policy, Caudill said, "All staff are expected to follow all Board Policies." He added, "But I want to be abundantly clear, the policy does not require staff to hide their own sexuality. Teachers can let students know their sexuality, or mention their significant others, if they wish, regardless of sexuality. The policy does not impact who a teacher is, it only impacts the advocacy for a specific political position."

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/laurenstrapagiel/nevada-teacher-banned-from-showing-rainbow-flag

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Reply This Teacher Is Fighting Back After Her School Board Banned Pride Flags In The Classroom (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Sep 2020 OP
Merlot Sep 2020 #1
Susan Calvin Sep 2020 #2

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 11:39 AM

1. Well, the upside is no confederate flags will be displayed either.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Tue Sep 22, 2020, 12:54 PM

2. The only reason this could be a political issue

Is that Republicans are jerks.

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