Conservative Cancel Culture Comes For Wisconsin Teachers’ Pride Flags

An LGBTQ flag flies over the Wisconsin State Capitol (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By Joe Zepecki

August 24, 2022

A suburban Wisconsin school district is under fire after its school board voted to affirm a policy banning Pride Flags from classrooms. The district, located about 45 minutes outside of Milwaukee, reinterpreted a district policy governing ‘political messages’ in the classrooms of district teachers over the summer.

This month, the district school board voted in support of the Superintendent’s updated interpretation, declaring its support for infringing on the freedom of speech of its employees. Prior to the vote, school board members limited public comment on the matter to just an hour, denying a voice to scores of district residents prepared to testify on the matter.

Put another way, the board chose to stifle the speech of the community before voting to cancel the constitutionally protected speech of its employees.

Critics of the move are concerned the policy targets the LGBTQ community and questioned the district’s highly dubious declaration that displaying a Pride flag in a classroom constitutes ‘political speech.’ Teachers around the United States frequently display such items to create a more inclusive, welcoming environment for students who may feel ostracized or even unsafe in parts of their community due to their own sexual identity or that of family members.

In the wake of Florida enacting a controversial, statewide ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, activists around the country have seemingly felt emboldened to more aggressively promote their own agenda on one of the defining civil rights issues of our time. 

Wisconsin’s leading elected officials are split on the issue of LGBTQ equality. Democratic Governor Tony Evers was the first state executive to raise the Pride Flag over the State Capitol in honor of Pride month. His opponent in this fall’s election is standing by his 2004 opposition to same-sex marriage. Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is currently leading the charge in Congress to codify support for same-sex marriage, her colleage from Wisconsin, Senator Ron Johnson, has changed his position on such legislation and is expected to oppose it.


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