A petition has been created protesting an Alabama high school teacher for flying a rainbow flag in her classroom. The petition asks the flag be removed, comparing it to a “Confederate, Christian, or Heterosexual Flag” that wouldn’t be allowed to fly, either.
The LGBT pride flag appeared at a fair for Auburn High School’s extracurricular activities. The school’s EDUCATE club, which promotes diversity, created and displayed the flag. The flag is currently flying in Mrs. Yeager’s classroom who is the faculty sponsor for the EDUCATE club.
The petition begins: “The following signers of this petition ask that the Pride Flag flown in Mrs. Yeager’s classroom be removed as we strongly feel that it creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable to openly supporting the LGBTQ+ community in a public school where students come from diverse political and religious backgrounds.”
As of publication, the petition had 721 supporters with 279 signatures.
“Furthermore, we believe it is unprofessional and distracting for a teacher to be so openly displaying their political views in an unbiased and socially neutral public setting,” the petition continues.
“In closing, the signers of this petition would like for you to consider the uproar and chaos that would ensue were a teacher to hang for example a Confederate, Christian, or Heterosexual Flag in their classroom. There would likely be protests, emails from teachers, and threatening of lawsuits from parents with differing viewpoints. As such, one does not see teachers hanging these flags in classrooms due to the same argument that it is unprofessional and can create a hostile and unideal learning environment.”
A counter petition was created with a lot more support than the first. As of publication, that petition has 5,984 signatures with 1,516 signatures
That petition states: “In the real world, to suggest individuals be isolated from differing political views is an absurdity. To be made uncomfortable by opinions differing to your own is to function as a modern human. Attempting to insulate a student from political discourse would be an insult to their intelligence.”
“Lastly, and most importantly, the pride flag and the AHS Educate club has served to provide a healthy environment for our LGBT+ peers to feel comfortable being who they truly are. The flag represents this safe space, and frankly, the sentiment for removing the pride flag is an affront to the work that has been done nationally to fight for recognition of the community.”
The school’s principal said she was hadn’t been presented with either petition before being asked to comment by Gay Star News.
But she did offer this statement: “It is the mission of Auburn City Schools to ensure each student embraces and achieves his or her unique intellectual gifts and personal aspirations while advancing the community, through a school system distinguished by: compassion for others, symbiotic relationships with an engaged community, the creation and sharing of knowledge, inspired learners with a global perspective, and the courage to determine our future.”
‘It is my sincere desire to assist our students in learning to address their opinions and values in a calm and respectful manner,’ Pignato told GSN. ‘This differing of opinions related to the EDUCATE club at AHS affords our faculty and students an opportunity to learn and model a civil manner in which to resolve differences.’