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Stonington reverses decision that banned LGBTQ pride flags from school

LtoR - Stonington Schools Superintendent - Mary Anne Butler and Board of Education Chair - Farouk Rajab.jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
Stonington Schools Superintendent Mary Anne Butler, left, and Board of Education Chair Farouk Rajab

Stonington schools in Connecticut will once again allow LGBTQ pride flags in its classrooms.

The Board of Education unanimously decided on Tuesday to allow the pride flags back into schools after some parents complained about the flag being political, and against district policy.

“These flags are statements of diversity, equity and inclusion that cross party lines and are not partisan,” Superintendent of Stonington Public Schools Mary Ann Butler said. “We demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion work in many ways, including in our curriculum. Displaying the pride flag is an important visual reminder of our commitment to that work.”

Attendees at the Special Meeting of the Board of Education.jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
Attendees at the Special Meeting of the Board of Education

The board temporarily removed the pride flags last week, while it sought legal advice.

Some parents questioned whether LGBTQ pride flags created a safe learning space for students. They told the school board they were uncomfortable with their children exposed to material about sex and gender identity in the classroom.

“The flag itself, although not in the way it was created, has become political, not by the actions of any of us, but through today's society,” parent Ashley Tewell told the school board.

“And I just think we need to make sure we are creating safe learning spaces for all students regardless of their sexual preferences, regardless of their religious convictions, regardless of their gender identity. It needs to be safe for all students.”

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An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.