Parents, Staff Say California School’s Banner Ban Targets LGBTQ Community

Parents and staff claim that a California school district targets LGBTQ Pride flags after the board voted to forbid the display of banners except for the American or California State flags.

At a meeting on Tuesday, trustees from the Sunol Glen Unified School District, in East Bay, which serves 270 students in grades K-8, had a heated exchange with the attendees.

Molleen Barnes, Sunol Glen’s Superintendent, and Principal said at the meeting on Tuesday that “the symbol of a flag solidifies this message.” “Tonight, by passing this resolution, the board members of Sunol Glen have made it clear what their position is.”

Barnes noted that Pride flags were displayed in the past to remind LGBTQ families and students of their school’s “equity and inclusiveness”.

When asked to explain the proposed policies, Board President Ryan Jergensen stated that “when a school begins endorsing a single particular viewpoint, it can cause division.” “The school must be inclusive to all.” Individual opinions are irrelevant. “I prefer to look for more of what we share as a school.”

Jergensen removed 150 community members from the cafeteria after a period of public comments around 9 p.m. Many were holding rainbow boas or Pride flags.

A half-hour later, the board approved the measure by a 2-1 vote.

Parents, teachers, and students who voted against this new policy pointed out that it was announced shortly after the Pride flag had been hung on a pole outside the school in June of 2022.

The students also criticized the school’s “anti-LGBTQ policies”, including an old resolution that required teachers and counselors to notify parents when their children used names or pronouns other than their biological gender.