Parents in Georgia have reported that an elementary school administrator took down a young child’s Pride artwork and compared it to a Nazi flag.
The artwork featured a rainbow Pride flag, an umbrella, and the words “Gay is OK”, and was drawn by a student at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, in Athens, Georgia, which teaches children aged five to 11.
The child’s teacher proudly displayed the drawing in their classroom, but according to local TV station WXIA-TV, was told to remove it by school administrators.
When the teacher questioned why they should take it down, an administrator reportedly compared the adorable Pride artwork to a Nazi flag.
Many parents were extremely upset about the incident, including Jemelleh Coes, who said that it was not isolated.
Coes, a professor at the University of Georgia, said: “There are ongoing complaints about this current administration has been discriminatory against women, being discriminatory against LGBT+ people, being discriminatory against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, emerging multilingual and Spanish speakers.
“So we have seen a pattern of inequity at our school and we have been asking for support at this point for years.”
Gee Campbell, who is transmasculine non-binary and has two children at the school, added: “We’ve been part of this school community for four years.
“My experiences with the teachers in regards to my transitioning have always been positive and respectful. My daughter is in this classroom and my immediate thought was, ‘What message does this give my daughter about her family?’”
One anonymous teacher also released a statement: “On behalf of a majority of the staff at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School, we are disheartened that these words and actions have happened in our school building during this time.
“This does not represent why we chose this profession, and it does not represent the feelings, beliefs, values, and attributes our amazing school family has within these four walls.”
They called on the school district to take action, and added: “We will continue to seek resolution and promote a community of love, acceptance, and tolerance within our building and community.”
In response, the Clarke County School District said in a statement: “We have investigated the situation and are working to address the issues with all parties involved.
“To be clear, we condemn this comparison and discrimination in all its forms.
“The Clarke County School District embraces diversity and inclusion for all students and staff. We stand with our LGBTQIA+ community and are dedicated to proving our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“To that end, we will continue having sensitive and appropriate conversations with our school communities.”