Pride, Black Lives Matter, and similar flags are free to fly at Anne Arundel County Schools in Maryland after board members voted down a controversial proposed flag ban.
Conservative-leaning parents standing in solidarity under red, white, and blue banners rallied in favor of a flag ban, drawing protests from liberal-leaning parents who support rainbow-colored pride flags.
Corine Frank, a member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, supported the flag ban on school grounds and proposed a vote to allow only the United States flag to be flown at schools, along with state and county flags.
Any other flag displayed would have to be for a “bona fide educational purpose” as determined by school administrators.
However, the policy was defeated on July 12, with four board members voting against it, three in favor, and one abstaining.
The 4-3 vote came after a two-hour debate on the issue, which was raised at a May meeting.
Concerns were raised on both sides about whether flags other than the United States, state, county and city flags should be displayed in schools.
Critics said banning some flags, such as the Pride and Black Lives Matter banners, would hinder the school’s inclusiveness.
“We’ve never been told how to decorate our classrooms before or how to make our students feel included before or not included, and now it appears that we are being told,” Nicole Disney-Bates, President of Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, who organized the protest against the policy, told CBS Baltimore.
We feel that classrooms should be free spaces for people to express themselves, and we would like to keep that going in Anne Arundel County,” Disney-Bates said.
Another outcome of the vote was that members of the school board agreed that the issue should be discussed further with all members of the school community.