Indiana students urge school board to keep LGBTQ Pride flag but district labels it ‘indoctrination’
Pride Flags REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Bluffton-Harrison, Indiana school board met Tuesday evening during a special session called to seek public input on a proposed new rule for "controversial materials." The new rule, a resolution, was drafted in response to one parent's complaint about an LGBTQ pride flag that's been hanging in a middle school classroom for years.

District Superintendent Dr. Brad Yates deemed the LGBTQ flag "controversial" in a letter to parents and in a Facebook post last week. In a proposed resolution introduced at Tuesday's meeting the school board makes clear it considers support of LGBTQ issues "indoctrination."

Tuesday evening, students and others urged the board to keep the flag.

One brave student spoke in front of more than 100 parents, teachers, and students, telling the school board that "it's rough," and "we don't have anybody to turn to."

Fighting back tears the student, in the video below, says the pride flag "stands for everything":

WANE reports the draft policy being considered is called a “Resolution Regarding Respect and Inclusion of All Students."

NCRM's reading of the policy shows that anti-LGBTQ bias is baked into the document.

“When beliefs and opinions differ, they will be discussed in respectful ways," part of the draft says. It adds that the school district "does not wish to indoctrinate students on topics outside the school curricula, nor does it wish to marginalize those with views on topics with which others in the community disagree."

But anything less that full acceptance of the school district's LGBTQ students and faculty marginalizes them, and their right to exist openly cannot be allowed to be considered "topics with which others in the community disagree."

The resolution notes the school district bans discrimination based on "sex, race, national origin, religion, or disability," but in a separate line notes that "the federal courts" classify sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination as illegal. It does not take a stand on those forms of discrimination, which again is marginalizing.

The resolution says teachers can "introduce" controversial materials, "provided their use" does not "tend to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view."

That policy only serves to protect the school district (which consulted with an attorney before introducing the resolution,) place blame if anything goes wrong on the teacher, and enable anti-LGBTQ bullies to continue bullying by telegraphing that being LGBTQ is "controversial."

WANE reporter Taylor Williams tweeted out some of the public comments from Tuesday's meeting:

This appears to be the 8th grade science teacher who hung the flag in her classroom:

Not all the speakers were supportive of keeping the LGBTQ pride flag.