Oregon School Board updates policy to require BLM, pride flags in classrooms

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Just when you think you’ve seen everything in the state of Oregon, a school board in the state appears to be mandating that every classroom in its district display a Black Lives Matter and “progressive pride” flag or poster — this being a six-color rainbow design to represent the LGBTQ+ community.

Worry not, though, the liberals on the Gresham-Barlow School Board have yet to ban the U.S. flag, but they’re requiring that the other flags be of the same size as Old Glory.

All of which makes one wonder if they are aware that the U.S. flag code says that “no other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America,” and that other flags “to be dipped as a mark of honor.”

The board updated the district’s “Flag Displays and Salutes” policy on May 6 to reflect the progressive values of the board, The Daily Wire reported.

The new policy reads: “The district shall obtain and display a U.S. flag, a progressive pride flag or poster and a Black Lives Matter flag or poster of an appropriate size for each classroom.”

Board member Robyn Stowers insisted the board require that all three flags be the same size, and Stowers also demanded tribal governments be allowed to put a flag in each classroom upon request, according to the conservative website.

“Upon request… a flag representing the sovereign tribal government must be displayed on, near, or within a school building during school hours,” the policy reads. “The location of the flag will be determined by the district in consultation with the requesting sovereign tribal government.”

To get a feel for the atmosphere in the district, when another board member asked if making it mandatory was the right decision, she was quickly was accused of “pushing white supremacy.”

The exchange begins just past the 51-minute mark in the video below:

“How is putting this in the classroom with teachers that are not ready with students that want to ask questions or maybe don’t, how is this going to change if we say you have to do this?” asked board member Kris Howatt. “Anything that’s done where it’s mandatory feels like I don’t have a choice to learn and find out about it.”

“Learning is always your choice,” Stower said. “We’ve already had these discussions and I refuse to re-educate you over and over and over again. You need to do your work.”

School board member Amanda Orozco-Beach then weighed in to berate Howatt.

“This is stalling. It’s pushing white supremacy. It’s getting in the way of progress,” she declared, adding, “We are trying to make sure that everyone is seen and heard. This policy wouldn’t even be such a big deal if it wasn’t for board members trying to push this and get the public involved.”

“This is just pushing unnecessary trauma and it’s really inappropriate,” Orozco-Beach concluded.

The school board also updated the Pledge of Allegiance policy, asking that students recite the pledge “at least once each week during and school year,” and recite a “land acknowledgment” each week, and recite the “black national anthem,” the Daily Wire noted.

A land acknowledgment recognizes and respects indigenous peoples as traditional stewards of this land. The civil rights song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is seen as the black national anthem.

At the same meeting, the school board also updated the “position purpose” statement of the district’s superintendent.

It was here that Orozco-Beach removed any doubt that she’s a committed Kool-Aid drinker.

“I want to include that we need to have a leader that understands that public schools are inherently racist institutions and they need to be committed to collaborate and work with the board to eliminate white supremacy culture in Gresham-Barlow schools,” she said. “Our commitment to eliminating institutional racism and I think it’s important that if we hire our next superintendent that they would follow those values.”

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Tom Tillison

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