A group of Auburn students and parents are requesting an Auburn High School teacher not post a gay pride flag in their classroom.
News 3 was sent a copy of the letter addressed to the principal. It reads in part:
“The flag creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable openly supporting the LGBTQ Community.” The letter continues, “It’s unprofessional for the teachers to openly display their political views in an unbiased and socially neutral public setting– creating a hostile and uncomfortable learning environment.”
This week, the school held a fair for students to see all of the clubs and organizations at the school. One of the club’s, the E.D.U.C.A.T.E Club, which promotes inclusiveness and diversity had the flag as part of its display.
Auburn City Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen DeLano said as of noon on Friday, the school’s principal, Dr. Shannon Pignato had not been presented the petition, but now she is aware of it, and the matter is being handled internally.
Meanwhile, a Change.org counterpetition against the removal of the pride flag has been posted.
Brandon Sinniger, an Auburn High School student started the petition. He said he saw the original petition asking the flag be removed Friday morning. Sinniger, who is involved with the LGBTQ in school and in the community, saw the need to start a counterpetition showing support community for the teacher, flag and the idea behind them. He said he wrote the petition while driving with his girlfriend to school.
The response from the community here in Auburn, as well as signatures from all over the country has left me completely breathless,” Sinniger said. “The takeaway for me is not whether or not the flag stays up or is taken down. For me, it is extremely important that more than a thousand people were able to come together in solidarity for our LGBT community, here in our high school. The message that sends is stronger than keeping a flag hanging in a classroom window.
Daisy Griffin was one of the many who signed the counterpetition feels it is important there is a safe space for the LGBTQ youth.
“Just yesterday, my daughter, who is at Auburn High School, was telling me how she had seen the flag and how excited she was,” Griffin said. “She joined the E.D.U.C.A.T.E Club and other clubs. I was very happy, very pleased that Auburn High School was creating these safe spaces and allowing for representation.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: WRBL, Mikhaela Singleton