It’s Time For Teachers To Put Away Their Political Flags At School BY: STEPHANIE LUNDQUIST-ARORA for The Federalist
Public school teachers and administrators wield extraordinary influence over our children. Why should they display overtly political messages in what should be an apolitical learning environment?
In August 2022, the Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin voted to prevent teachers and administrators from having political flags or religious messages in their classrooms. It’s time for other school districts across the country to do the same.
Federal government auditors from the Government Accountability Office are instructed not to display partisan or political messages in their office space or when they conduct audits in order to maintain their appearance of impartiality and professionalism — and GAO auditors work with adults. Why then would it be acceptable for public school teachers and administrators, who wield extraordinary influence over our children, to display overtly political messages in what should be an apolitical learning environment?
In fall 2021, I posed that question to our middle-school principal in Fairfax County, Virginia. Earlier that day, my son had casually mentioned that his engineering teacher displayed pride and Black Lives Matter flags in her classroom. After I expressed that, of course, all lives matter and everyone should have pride, I explained to my son that this is just one example of teachers trying to politically indoctrinate students.
The principal informed me that the school board had passed a policy in which flags of “marginalized groups” are welcome in the district’s classrooms. When I asked her how Black Lives Matter, a social movement, is a “marginalized group” given its $6 million mansion in California and tangential connection to many violent demonstrations across the country, she didn’t have an answer. But the whole issue raises the question: Who makes the decisions about what is acceptable to display and what is not? School boards themselves are intended to be apolitical, but they are heavily partisan.