The kids are alright.
Students at the Passaic school, New Jersey, hoisted the LGBTQ+ flag up without complaints in 2021, but shortly after, the Board of Education implemented policy that only allows for an American flag, a New Jersey state flag, or a school flag to be flown in front of the building.
In March, the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) staged a protest over the new policy, including around 75 students who marched together, chanting “Walk out!” and “Raise our flag!”
School board president L. Daniel Rodriguez told NJ.com, “While we respect and appreciate the many different opinions on this matter, the current flag policy is non-discriminatory. It ensures consistency across the school district with respect to the flags.”
Rodrguez noted that not everyone on the school board agreed with the decision and they had been unable to reach a consensus on how to change the policy.
Despite the decision, school principal Stacy Bruce allowed the Pride flag to be hung in school windows and the rainbow banners now cover nearly every window at the front of the school.
Bruce has reportedly been supported by the school’s superintendent, Sandra Montanez-Diodonet, who said, “I am aware of the displays. They do not violate any policy. The policy, as I understand it, refers to flag poles on the outside of school buildings.”
“It makes me feel very happy,” Adylyn Correa-Pagan, a freshman, said. “Some kids feel like they need the support, because they don’t get it at home. The fact that they could come to school to learn in an environment where they feels safe and protected and supported for or something they can’t change, I think it’s a wonderful thing.”
Another student, 18-year-old Christopher Yepez, said that the move was heartening. “The principal had to follow the district rules. She had no say. But to have people that make you feel safe and comfortable, makes you want to come to school. I feel safe. Today is a good day.”
Happy Pride to that school and its students!
After gay Pride flag flap, N.J. school fills windows with rainbow banners https://t.co/R4kqGh0qno
— njdotcom (@njdotcom) May 31, 2022