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Petition Claims LGBT Flag in Alabama School Makes for Hostile Learning Environment, Compares it to Confederate Flag

A petition on Change.org is asking that an Alabama high school remove a teacher’s LGBT flag from her classroom because it creates a hostile learning environment, according to some students and their parents.

The request, signed by 1,257 people as of Friday afternoon, states that “we strongly feel that [the Pride Flag] creates a hostile and provocative learning environment for students not comfortable to openly supporting the LGTBQ+ community in a public school where students come from diverse political and religious backgrounds.”

“Furthermore, we believe it is unprofessional and distracting for a teacher to be so openly displaying their political views in an unbiased and socially neutral public setting,” the petitioners state.

They also claimed their argument would apply if a Confederate flag were on display:

…the signers of this petition would like for you to consider the uproar and chaos that would ensue were a teacher to hang for example a Confederate, Christian, or Heterosexual Flag in their classroom. There would likely be protests, emails from teachers, and threatening of lawsuits from parents with differing viewpoints.

As such, one does not see teachers hanging these flags in classrooms due to the same argument that it is unprofessional and can create a hostile and unideal learning environment.

The teacher of the classroom in which the flag is on display reportedly leads the school’s EDUCATE Club, which promotes diversity, according to The Observer.

A counter-petition has racked up over 6,800 supporters who believe that the flag should stay.

“In the real world, to suggest individuals be isolated from differing political views is an absurdity,” it states.

Then it continues: “Attempting to insulate a student from political discourse would be an insult to their intelligence.”

The school’s principal is reportedly aware of the situation, as is district superintendent Karen DeLano, but the school has not yet made a decision on the matter.