A Maryland school board is working on a policy that would limit the flying of some flags and symbols other than the American flag.
Carroll County, Maryland, has drafted a policy as some teachers and parents were concerned about a "slippery slope" of flags in county classrooms, including LGBTQ Pride flags – although it does not mention that one specifically – Baltimore's Fox 5 reported.
"It's a slippery slope," Concerned Parents of Carroll County's Bryan Thompson told Fox 5. "I think if you have to let the LGBTQ+ flag in the classroom then you have to let other flags in as well. And those other flags, be it a pro-choice flag or Christian flag or Muslim flag, may not be inclusive of other kids and may offend other children or parents of those children."
The draft policy comes after rainbow Pride flags were donated to Carroll County Public Schools by the Westminster chapter of PFLAG, a national LGBTQ group, according to the report.
Carroll County staffers noted they felt "pressured or bullied to put flags in the classroom," according to board member Donna Sivigny, so the school board voted in April to work on a policy that would restrict the permitted flags in classrooms to:
- The Maryland flag.
- The Carroll County flag.
- Flags that are used as a part of a temporary unit of study within the approved curriculum.
- Flags or banners that denote a recognition of achievement and are approved by the superintendent.
- Sport tournament banners recognizing the participation of a school team.
- Banners from colleges or universities or professional sports teams.
Flags "representing the many nations of the world may be shown in the common areas of a school building as a multi-national display in a manner and for purposes approved by the superintendent, provided that no such flags may be as large or as prominent as the current American flag," the policy to be voted on soon read.
Student advocate with Carroll County Kids for Equity Diana Flores argued the Pride flag is one of acceptance and the current debate is causing undue harm.
"I have heard from multiple students directly that the words that the Board of Education has said is really hurting them," Flores told Fox 5. "They're calling people groomers and pedophiles and sexual predators and all these things that are just wrong and hurtful for our LGBTQ+ students.
"What we are doing is really advocating for students and trying to make Carroll County Public Schools a safe space for all students."
Thompson was steadfast is saying Pride flags do not belong in the classroom.
"There are other ways to make children safe, and we also have to be mindful of kids that may not share those values as well," Thompson told Fox 5. "I think a lot of people want to confuse tolerance with acceptance."
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.