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A school board in Oregon on Tuesday voted 4-3 to ban pride flags and Black Lives Matter banners, prompting sharp debate in the district.
The vote was tallied during a virtual meeting for the Newberg school district and impacts about 5,000 children, KGW.com reported.
Brian Shannon, the school board director, appealed to his colleagues to ban all political and divisive symbols so “we can focus on the already difficult task of educating our students in the core subjects,” the report said.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that there will be a three-member policy committee that monitors what would be considered political messaging. The OPB report said detractors of the ban say these symbols offer some students comfort.
“They are messages of love and support,” Stacey Dalton, a teacher, said, according to the report. “White and or heteronormative students, the majority, see their own validation consistently in the curriculum Newberg School districts have adopted and therefore do not need extra messages of support.”
State legislators have appealed to board members to allow the flags. The OPB report pointed out that Joe Morelock, the superintendent, said lawyers will have to review the vote before it is enforced.
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