PASSAIC — After pride flags flew outside two of the city’s public schools in 2021, this year’s celebrations to support the LGBTQ community could be more low-key, under new flag restrictions passed sometime ago. month.
Passaic Preparatory Academy raised a rainbow flag on June 1, becoming the first school in the district to do so.
Passaic High School followed suit with a virtual ceremony for students on June 23.
Five months later, a modified signage policy — limiting flags outside city public schools to the American flag and the state flag — was passed at the Nov. 22 school board meeting.
“This is the policy that has been agreed to by all in order to be consistent and fair with all school clubs, for-profit and non-profit organizations and/or community groups, regarding flag display requests. on school hubs,” Passaic Board of Education Vice President Daniel Rodriguez said in his own written response to New Jersey 101.5.
“All requests are treated in the same way. As a school and a board, our policy does not prohibit celebrations and displays approved in schools by the administration,” he continued.
The issue was raised during public comments during the last two board meetings.
At a February 28 board meeting, Passaic resident and public school teacher Jesus Velez asked board members to reconsider the policy, which he called an “effective ban.” of the pride flag.
In contrast, two religious leaders spoke out at the same meeting, both against the resumption of such a public demonstration during Pride month.
Pastor Harrison Sanchez of the Fountain Christian Church and Pastor Frank Seminerio of the Trinity Assembly of God both expressed concerns about the raising of the Pride Flag in the town of Passaic, according to the lawsuit. minutes of the session published online.
Velez spoke again at Monday’s board meeting, as reported by NJ.com, asking the board to reconsider the impact of new flag restrictions on LGBTQ students and their allies within. of the school community.
A few students also attended Monday’s session and echoed Velez’s concerns, according to the same report.
Pride in other NJ schools
The same year that Passaic held Pride Flag ceremonies outside two of its public schools, there was a Lavender Graduation Ceremony at Columbia High School, which hosts students from Maplewood and South Orange.
The ceremony was describe as an “organized in many schools and communities across the country to honor and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, asexual, intersex and related students, and to recognize their achievements and contributions to the school and the community.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]
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