Newberg, Oregon’s school board voted Tuesday to prohibit all broadly “political” signs, flags, and clothing, including those depicting LGBTQ pride and Black Lives Matter messaging, from district buildings.
The school board voted 4-3 in favor of a ban following a virtual evening meeting during which parents and officials debated the measure.
“Black students and other kids of color are under attack in Newberg schools,” parent Tai Harden-Moore stated. “I know this to be true because my son was called a n**ger at school.”
“Research shows an affirming school environment improves behavioral, academic, and mental health outcomes for all students,” said a wife of a Newberg teacher.
Those in support of the measure, including school board director and vice chair Brian Shannon, argued that overtly political symbols harm racial relations, not improve them.
“The main goal of this is to get political symbols and divisive symbols out of our schools so we can focus on the already difficult task of educating our students in the core subjects,” Shannon said.
“The BLM and LGBTQ ideology and curriculum are shattering the innocence of children, promoting racial divide and negatively impacting the lives of our children forever,” argued an unnamed woman.
Before the BLM and Pride ban can be enforced, the district superintendent says district lawyers will have to weigh in on the legalities of it. Director Shannon is asking the lawyers to also advise the board on the repercussions of challenging the mask mandate in schools.
Newberg is located approximately 20 miles south of Portland.