Source: NC Newsline
Union County parents and students are pushing back against recent extremist policies made by the conservative majority Union County Board of Education.
Earlier this month, the board changed a section of the school system’s policy, restricting classroom displays to “materials which represent the United States, the State of North Carolina, the school name and mascot and/or tie directly to the curriculum”.
According to NC Newsline, Union County students and families say the policy change aims to eliminate pride flags, Black Lives Matter posters and other displays of support for marginalized students and student groups.
“If they want to prepare us for the real world, they have to include everything that is in the real world, and not just pick and choose,” Madison Dufresne, a senior at UCHS, told Queen City News.
Parents have also alleged that the proposed change is a front to ban books with LGBTQ characters.
“There are currently books being taken off the shelves in Union County libraries that do not seem to have any other reason why they were taken out, except for the fact that they have an LGBTQ character. We are trying to establish why they’re doing this, and they’re not answering our questions,” Regan Shaw, a mom from Union County, told Spectrum News.
“It’s not political to want books in the library that reflect your child’s experience in the world. Why would we want to silence LGBTQ stories? The year is 2023, we should not allow that type of hatred of others,” Shaw added.
Following the board’s proposal, local families and students took steps in pushing back against the discriminatory revision through a youth-led LGBTQ pride rally in Waxhaw. The event, which kicked off June’s Pride Month, comes as Republicans across the country, and in North Carolina, continue to target LGBTQ youth through discriminatory laws and measures.
“Our schools should protect all students and respect all families—including queer and trans students and families—so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment,” Equality NC, an LGBTQ advocacy group, said in a statement. “LGBTQ+ youth already face discrimination in their daily lives and often turn to affirming teachers and school staff to support them in the classroom and beyond.”