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Wisconsin school district bans Pride flags, pronouns in email signatures

kettle moraine board meeting
Posted at 1:30 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 15:30:07-04

WALES, Wis. (TMJ4) — A Wisconsin school district has banned the Pride flag and the use of preferred pronouns in email signatures.

The decision was made during the July 26 Kettle Moraine School Board meeting.

During Tuesday's meeting, many students and their families expressed their concerns with the policy.

"I don't want to be misgendered and I want people to know, especially if I'm meeting new people, I want them to know they can feel safe around me," said Edith Cramer, an incoming freshman.

Cramer identifies as transgender and uses he/him pronouns. He said his identity isn't political.

"It's just part of who I am. I mean, people can switch political stances and people can decide to support one party or another, but I didn't decide one day that I was going to be trans. I didn't decide one day that I was going to have dysphoria," Cramer said.

Another student who spoke during the meeting said, "The best way to tell if a teacher is supportive is if they have a Pride flag in the classroom."

The Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ crisis and suicide prevention organization, sent a letter to the Kettle Moraine School District outlining the importance of gender-affirming schools.

The letter says, "LGBTQ who report having at least one accepting adult are 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. Further, LGBTQ youth in schools with an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, and by extension, classroom practices, were more likely to report that their peers were somewhat or very accepting of LGBTQ people and less likely to experience harassment."

There were a couple of people at the meeting who spoke out in favor of the district's policy.

"The vast majority of us demand that our schools focus on teaching our kids and not bringing divisive, politically charged issues into the classroom," one parent said during the meeting.

Another student thanked the board for their decision on the policy, saying she wanted education to be the focus in classrooms.

The school district's superintendent says the policy is a professional expectation.

But for Cramer, it comes down to being seen and accepted.

"They talk about wanting to have the students accept differences and be able to understand diversities and stuff, but the way that they're doing this is just really hypocritical," Cramer said.

This story was originally reported by Sarah McGrew on tmj4.com.