Indiana high school teachers forced to remove Pride flags

Sat. May 22, 2021 6:56 PM by Gerald Farinas

Teachers at Pendleton Heights High School in the Indianapolis-area community of Pendleton were ordered by their school district to remove Pride flags displayed in their classrooms.

South Madison Community Schools initially explained that teachers should be neutral on social issues and refrain from political speech. They view exhibition of the Pride flag as political speech.

Mark Hall, superintendent of schools, told local newspaper Indianapolis Star that teachers are “legally obligated to maintain viewpoint neutrality.”

The newspaper reported they could not find such a law and Hall has not clarified his statement.

Student Bryce Axel-Adams started a petition on calling on the district to “allow [the] Pride flag to be flown in classrooms in Pendleton.”

After receiving an update on the case, Axel-Adams explained, “Their biggest fear is that someone will file a discrimination lawsuit because [someone will] want the opposite of the Pride flag to be flown.”

“I understand where the Admin and their lawyers are coming from, but sometimes people have to take risks to protect their students,” he said.

“Having a pride flag is one of the clearest ways to say 'I support you and I am here for you. You are loved.' That is so important for LGBT youth.

“We have always been told that teachers will always be there for us—and being able to easily identify teachers we can safely go to is extremely important to our mental health.”