We need more school districts like this. It seems every week we are inundated with stories about school districts subjecting students to woke propaganda instead of focusing on teaching them how to read, write, and do math. But at least one school district in Wisconsin is refusing to follow suit.
Kettle Moraine School District Superintendent Stephen Plum instructed employees not to display gay pride flags or put their preferred pronouns in email signatures. The move sparked pushbacks from alumni, students, and members of the staff. Plum insists he is only following a policy that has already been established.
The Washington Post reported:
Kettle Moraine School District Superintendent Stephen Plum recently told the school board the district’s interpretation of a policy that prohibits staff from using their positions to promote partisan politics, religious views and propaganda for personal, monetary or nonmonetary gain changed following a legal analysis, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Plum said teachers and administrators are prohibited from displaying political or religious messages in their classrooms or on their person, including gay pride flags and Black Lives Matter and We Back the Badge signs. Staff also may not say in emails what their preferred pronouns are.
In a July 27 Facebook post, the district announced its decision. The post received hundreds of responses, most of which criticized the district.
Trey Korte, a gay man who taught English at Kettle Moraine High School until 2019, expressed his concerns about the decision. “When you remove something that had been there awhile that represented a marginalized group, when you take that away, it does make people feel unwelcome,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Plum addressed the matter in front of the school board during a July 26 meeting. He said:
“We live in a world where politics are highlighted, and it puts people in uncomfortable positions. I feel the staff can fully support students. I feel that every staff member, custodian and teacher ought to know that it’s really in the best interest of the students to look out for them and to have strong, healthy relationships that develop therefrom.”
Gary Vose, the school board president, supported the move. “This isn’t a case where we’re trying to discriminate against any group or groups for that matter, but rather just to bring clarity to allow staff to know where the line is drawn on these various things. It’s not a popularity contest. Regardless what we do here, we’re going to have some that are going to love it, some that are going to hate it. Regardless of that, I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m fully behind it,” he said.
Students at the school started a petition in opposition to the ban. It had received 1,400 signatures by Wednesday, according to The Post.
Regardless of the opinions of the woke crowd and the students they have indoctrinated, this is the right move. Schools should certainly welcome children of all backgrounds and should not engage in discriminatory practices. But this does not mean they should be promoting progressive ideas on campus. These signs and teachings are very much political in nature and have no place in K-12 schools.
What is also notable about this story is that the Plum also banned “back the badge” signs as well, so this decision was not biased against the left. But now, the hard left has had so much success infusing their ideas into the school system that most of the political statements presented in these areas are decidedly left-wing.
While I’m skeptical, I still hope more school districts will follow suit. At this point, there is no way the constant progressive politicking and indoctrination are not interfering with children’s learning. Parents are seeing a significant decrease in the quality of education that their children are receiving – and it can’t all be blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps if most districts are willing to abandon wokeism, others will too. We can only hope.