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Students, alumni, and others objected to a Wisconsin school district’s decision to forbid employees from displaying gay pride flags in classrooms or from using their preferred pronouns in email signatures, but the superintendent insisted that the decision was simply reiterating an already existing policy.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Kettle Moraine School District Superintendent Stephen Plum recently informed the school board that the district’s interpretation of a rule prohibiting employees from using their positions to advance partisan politics, religious beliefs, or propaganda for personal, financial, or non-financial gain had changed as a result of legal research.

Black Lives Matter, We Back the Badge, gay pride flags, and other political or religious symbols are not permitted to be displayed in classrooms or on the person of teachers or administrators, according to Plum. Employees are not required to include their preferred pronouns in correspondence.

On July 27, the district wrote about the choice on its Facebook page, garnering hundreds of comments, most of which were critical of the decision.

Trey Korte, a gay English teacher at Kettle Moraine High School from 2009 to 2019, expressed his rage and sadness about the rule prohibiting pride flags.

According to Korte, “when you take away something that had been there for a while and represented a minority community, and you take that away, it does make people feel uncomfortable.”

The district’s motto, “Learning Without Boundaries,” which is advertised on its website, according to critics, is in conflict with the ban.

“Politics are prominent in our world nowadays, which puts people in awkward situations. I believe the faculty can adequately assist pupils. At a meeting of the school board on July 26, Plum stated, “I believe that every staff member, custodian, and teacher ought to realize that it’s truly in the best interest of the students to look out for them and to have good, healthy relationships that emerge therefrom.

Gary Vose, president of the Kettle Moraine School Board, supported the choice.

“We are not attempting to discriminate against any group or groups in this instance; rather, we are just bringing clarification so that staff members will understand where the line is set on these many issues. There is no popularity contest here. No matter what we do, there will always be those who will love it and those who will despise it. Whatever the case, I believe it to be the proper course of action. I wholeheartedly support it, Vose remarked.

Related

A petition against the prohibition was begun online by two Kettle Moraine High School students, Bethany Provan and Brit Farrar, and as of Wednesday, it had approximately 1,400 signatures.

According to the petition, pride flags can make kids “feel protected and supported,” and schools should teach children what pronouns are in place of forbidding teachers from using them in email signatures.

They are utilized in daily life. Is it illegal for our teachers to specify who they want to send students to? the petition asked.

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