School administrator compares kids’ rainbow art to ‘Nazi flag’ and had it removed / LGBTQ Nation
An elementary school student’s artwork celebrating LGBTQ people has been removed from a Georgia classroom after a school administrator allegedly compared it to a Nazi flag.
Now parents and teachers are speaking out against the discrimination, which took place at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in Clarke County.
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The artwork in question depicts a rainbow with the words “Gay is OK” written in the center. Administrators removed it from a classroom display after a parent complained. Parents say the administrator who removed the artwork told the teacher it was like hanging a Nazi flag.
An anonymous teacher released a statement to the local news station WXIA denouncing the actions of the school and stressing that Oglethorpe is a place of welcome.
“On behalf of the majority of staff at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, we are heartbroken that these words and actions have occurred in our school building during this time. It does not represent the reason we chose this profession, and it does not represent the feelings, beliefs, values and attributes that our incredible school family has within these four walls.
The teacher also expressed disappointment that nothing has been done to fix the situation or “rectify the fracture that has been caused”.
“We will continue to seek a solution,” they said, “and promote a community of love, acceptance and tolerance within our building and our community.”
The parents also say that this is not the first time that the school administration has discriminated against.
“There are ongoing complaints that this current administration discriminates against women, discriminates against LGBTQ people, discriminates against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, multilingual speakers and emerging Spaniards,” said parent Jemelleh Coes. “So we’ve seen a pattern of inequality in our school and we’ve been asking for support at this point for years.”
Gee Campbell, a non-binary, trans-male parent and whose daughter is in the classroom where the artwork was removed, worries about its effect on her.
“We’ve been part of this school community for four years,” Campbell said. “My experiences with teachers regarding my transition have always been positive and respectful. My daughter is in this classroom and my first thought was ‘What message does this give my daughter about her family?’
A statement released by the school district said the situation was being investigated and that “we condemn this comparison [to Nazi symbolism] and discrimination in all its forms.
“Clarke County School District embraces diversity and inclusion for all students and staff,” he continued. “We support our LGBTQIA+ community and are committed to demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion. To that end, we will continue to have sensitive and appropriate conversations with our school communities.