Annandale GSA Says District Won't Allow Teachers To Put Up Pride Flags, Organize Student Walkout
ANNANDALE, Minn. (WCCO) - Some students in central Minnesota walked out of class to protest their school district's response to pride displays in the classroom.
The walkout was organized by the group The Gay Straight Alliance. They say the district has not allowed teachers to keep rainbow flags in their rooms, or signs that say "safe space." The students who walked out of class at Annandale High School in protest were also joined by alumni and parents.
They said the issue is important because LGBTQ+ youth are bullied in school and need support.
"All of freshman year I kept a pride flag up on my locker and my dad is a custodian at the high school, and every single day he would find it in the trash can and re-hang it up," said AJ Sommers, a former Annandale High School student. "At my new school I feel so welcomed in that community and I think if another school is capable of that, this one should too."
"Pride is displayed in so many other schools," said one student. "A single pride flag in an art room won't hurt anyone, and it won't hurt anyone in the future. I've been going to Annandale since kindergarten and this isn't what I'm going to let it become."
The superintendent Tim Prom said the district is looking to replace "safe space" signs with more inclusive language for other students. That decision will be made after discussing with student groups and teachers. He said they support the GSA students and want all students to feel safe and welcome.
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