Dozens of people in Chesterton, Indiana, rallied Monday evening in support of LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter social issues after the school district removed several symbols of inclusion from three classrooms at Chesterton Middle School.
Parents said the removal of gay pride flags and symbols related to Black Lives Matter led to a group of middle school students walking out of class last Friday.
“I clapped and I cried and I was so proud of these children who recognize the disparity and the marginalized communities that some of them belong to and some of them see themselves as allies of,” said parent Laura Madigan.
The Duneland School Corporation said students and parents expressed concerns that the items conflicted with their personal and political beliefs and the complaints caused a significant disruption.
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The school district released a statement that said, “The Duneland School Corporation promotes inclusion and diversity, while striving to maintain a learning environment in which all students and staff are respected without promoting or advocating a particular point of view.”
Parent Nicole Brenzek said she feels like the school district “caved.”
“I feel like it is absolutely, a hundred percent their responsibility to show support for their marginalized students,” Brenzek said.
Reaction is mixed online.
One parent who asked not to be identified told NBC 5 kids are in school to learn and that the pride symbol creates confusion and tension among the students who are just in the beginning stages of puberty.