Michigan teachers told to take down Pride flags after ‘external challenge’

A middle school teacher in southern Michigan resigned after he and other educators in his district were told to remove LGBTQ Pride flags they had up in their classrooms.

Teachers were told to take down the flags after Three Rivers Community Schools in Three Rivers, Michigan, received an “external challenge” about the symbols that had “reached the board level,” according to an email obtained by NBC affiliate WOOD of Grand Rapids. 

“The rumors kind of floating around was that there’s one or two parents that complained about the flags being in the classroom,” said Russell Ball, the teacher who resigned.https://iframe.nbcnews.com/XERhvF6?_showcaption=true&app=1

Ball, who said he is part of the LGBTQ community, told WOOD that he is “disheartened and saddened.” 

“To me, the flag represents love and inclusion for everybody, not just whoever is of the LGBTQIA+ community,” he said. “The students losing that representation throughout the classrooms really hurt. Losing my own representation in the classroom really hurt. It was just something I was not prepared to do.”

The district’s interim superintendent, Nikki Nash, said in a statement that it was “an ongoing situation.”


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“We continue to work with the district’s legal firm and board of education to ensure we are providing a safe learning environment for all students,” the statement read.