School officials remove student’s ‘Gay is OK’ rainbow artwork and liken it to the Nazi flag
. [Agence France-Presse]

The principal and vice-principal of an Athens, Georgia elementary school are under fire from both parents and faculty after they reportedly ordered an unnamed student’s artwork that includes the words “Gay is OK” to be removed from a collection of works hung on a classroom wall, with the vice-principal allegedly comparing it to the Nazi flag.

“It’s been brought to our attention that one local school’s administration at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary did not find the art to be ‘okay.’ A local teacher has had the art hanging in her classroom since October, as part of several different student art pieces. According to the teacher, one parent eventually complained to the principal,” Athens Pride reveals on its Facebook page, which has also been reported by multiple news outlets.

“The principal reportedly asked the teacher to move the art to a less offensive place– she stood in solidarity with the student and did not remove the piece,” the Athens Pride post continues. “We have been told she was then summoned to the principal and vice principal’s office, where the display of the rainbow and verbiage were likened to ‘displaying a swastika’ by the school’s vice principal.”

Local Georgia news outlet 11Alive reports parent and University of Georgia professor Jemelleh Coes says, “Nothing has been done and that is part of the problem and that is why we are finally at a place like this. Enough is enough.”

“There are ongoing complaints about this current administration has been discriminatory against women, being discriminatory against LGBTQ people, being discriminatory against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, emerging multilingual and Spanish speakers. So we have seen a pattern of inequity at our school and we have been asking for support at this point for years,” Coes added.

A current teacher who wished to speak anonymously said in a statement to 11Alive: “On behalf of a majority of the staff at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, we are disheartened that these words and actions have happened in our school building during this time. This does not represent why we chose this profession, and it does not represent the feelings, beliefs, values, and attributes our amazing school family has within these four walls. We are disheartened that there has been no action taken by CCSD or our building administration to rectify the divide that has been caused. We will continue to seek resolution and promote a community of love, acceptance, and tolerance within our building and community."

Athens Pride on Facebook sums up the current situation: “The truth is, our children are watching and they are listening.”