An Oregon school board recently issued a new policy which mandates that every classroom in the school’s district display both a “pride” and Black Lives Matter poster or flag.
The Gresham-Barlow School Board of Gresham, Oregon recently updated their district’s “Flag Displays and Salutes” policy on May 6 to reflect the board’s progressive values. The proposal requires every classroom to display a pride flag, BLM flag and American flag.
Robyn Stowers, one of the school board members, went as far as insisting that the requirement state that all three flags must be of equal size.
Stowers also made demands that any tribal government be allowed to put their flags in classrooms if they wish to do so. The school board largely decided that flag representation in Oregon schools was probably not a priority of the tribes, but added the provision anyway.
Another board member, Kris Howatt, asked whether it was truly necessary to force the flags upon all teachers. She was quickly shot down and accused of “pushing white supremacy.”
During the same meeting, the school board also updated their Pledge of Allegiance policy, requiring that it be held at least once every week in addition to a “land acknowledgement” and the “Black national anthem.”
Stowers demanded that the “land acknowledgement” pledge be recited immediately after the Pledge of Allegiance. She reasons that “it makes things equitable.”
The board updated their “position purpose” statement for the district’s superintendent. Orozco-Beach made the proposal that the statement should rest on the board’s equity commitment.
She said that the school needs a leader who “understands. . . public schools are inherently racist institutions,” and that the leader needs to be “committed to. . . eliminat[ing] white supremacy culture” in their schools. She pressed that the next superintendent needs to follow the value of “eliminating institutional racism.”
Author: Donald Sherman