(ConservativePeak.com) – A middle school in Minnesota is facing backlash after hanging an LGBT pride flag in its cafeteria.
Despite requests from students opposing the flag, and concern from parents and community members, Marshall Middle School decided to let the flag continue to fly in its cafeteria, alongside the flag of the United States as well as a variety of international flags.
The Thomas More Society is representing a group of residents from the town who are concerned about the school’s decision. Erick Kaardal, the special counsel on the case, said:
“At the very least, it’s divisive and insensitive. It makes it appear that the school supports one group’s belief at the expense of others.”
Kaardal said some students who expressed concern to administrators and teachers at the school were bullied by other students.
“Whether this was an inappropriate decision by a staff member or a deliberate violation of students’ rights, this is a serious matter,” Kaardal said. “It is incumbent upon school officials to write and enforce rules that prevent the public school from being turned into a forum for the display of a single ideology. As members of the academic community, these administrators should understand that you cannot trample on the right to free speech.”
The school has come under further fire because it wouldn’t allow other flags to be flown in the school, such as one depicting a heterosexual family and the “Don’t Tread on Me” historical flag. Kaardal continued:
“Ironically, of course, the rainbow flag is most famous for being involved in protest, but now those advocating that symbol of protest will not tolerate the expression of opposing ideas. School buildings are funded by public tax dollars. A ‘viewpoint neutral’ policy toward flags and other displays will assure taxpayers that their money does not go to promote symbols of beliefs they may not agree with. If a federal lawsuit is needed to make this happen, we are equipped to pursue that action.”
There is no word yet on whether a federal lawsuit will be filed in this case, or whether one will need to be filed. Marshall Middle School, which houses students in fifth through eighth grade, could decide to overturn their decision to fly the LGBT flag, which would then render a federal lawsuit unnecessary.
The school in Marshall, Minnesota, has 679 students, and recent school board meetings have been packed with parents and community members who have expressed a huge concern about the school’s decision.
The rainbow flag that the school has decided to hang in the cafeteria has come to be represent people who have chosen to live an LGBT lifestyle — or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Parents and even students at the school are concerned that the flag promotes divisiveness, since it only promotes those types of lifestyles and not traditional heterosexual ones. They say during times like these, public schools and school districts should be promoting inclusivity and not separation.