Paso School District Maintains Flag Ban As Students And Teachers Push Back | News | San Luis Obispo
“I won’t wait to be fully myself until I am out of this school,” said Paso Robles High School student Nicole Rogers as she stood on the central arts stage of the school scene on October 20. The audience in front of her, packed with over 200 people, roared with applause. Dozens more spilled out into the lobby, many wearing rainbow masks.
Rogers, along with a dozen of his peers, hosted the Coming Out Against Hate forum to talk about their experiences as LGBTQ-plus students. They also spoke out against the Paso Robles Unified School District‘s ban on 3-by-5-foot flags, implemented earlier this month after a student flew the pride flag from a hall. class and defecated on it.
Initially, the ban required all flags to be no larger than 2 feet by 2 feet. But with the standard indoor flag measuring 2 feet by 3 feet and the exterior flags measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, some teachers and students considered it a pride flag ban.
Just before the forum, the district backtracked on its new rules, announcing that 2-by-3-foot flags would finally be allowed. But some students felt that was not enough: they want the 3ft by 5ft pride flag to be allowed in classrooms as well.
“They announced it a day or two before our forum, and I felt like they were trying to shut us up before we even had a chance to speak,” said Ava Hughes, senior at Paso High. . New times. “They were trying to make it look like we’re fighting them for no reason, but that hasn’t really changed as it should have.”
Hughes said the original degraded flag measured 3 feet by 5 feet.
“We just want to be entitled to what has been taken from us,” she said.
District Superintendent Curt Dubost said he attended the forum.
“I was impressed with the quality of the presentation made by the students,” he said. “We continue to work with the students who spoke that evening on a variety of proposals they made.”
On the morning of October 22, the students who organized the forum met with district officials. Later that day, Dubost sent faculty members a letter reiterating the requirement that flags be 2 feet by 3 feet or less.
“As previously announced, after discussions with all of these groups, the standards have been updated to ensure that standard sized indoor flags are not excluded,” Dubost wrote in the letter.
Employees have been ordered to remove any flag or banner greater than 2 feet by 3 feet. Dubost said New times that those who do not comply will be punished in accordance with the district collective agreement with the union.
“It would depend on the individual situation,” Dubost said when asked to elaborate.
For Hughes and the other students at the meeting, while allowing flags of 2 feet by 3 feet is a step in the right direction, the district’s choice to impose a restriction on full-size flags is disappointing.
“As students, we wear ourselves out fighting so hard against this, and they won’t listen to us and understand why it is so important for us to get what we asked for,” said Hughes, “because that we deserve it after all we’ve been through. ”
Social studies teacher Heather Stover, who taught at Paso High for 20 years, still displays a 3-by-5-foot flag in her classroom, despite district rules. As of October 25, Stover said New times he had not been asked to remove his flag.
“As an adult at school, I have an obligation to support all students,” Stover said. “If they can be brave, so can I.” ??