Osseo Area Schools in Minnesota has reportedly approved the display of an LGBT “pride” flag at all district buildings indefinitely, according to an audio recording from a recent school board work session. The decision comes under the district’s “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution,” which aims to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Initially, the school board invited the community to join in the celebration by raising the LGBTQIA+ Progress Pride flag on June 1st at all district buildings and in the school board room. However, a recording from an August 15th work session reveals that the district has amended the wording from “on June 1st” to “indefinitely,” as reported by Alpha News.
The change in wording was suggested by an LGBT advisory group and endorsed by the former Superintendent, Cory McIntyre. The district’s director of educational equity, Duane Wardally, explained during the meeting that the recommendation to fly the Progress Pride flag indefinitely was approved by the superintendent and the office of the superintendent.
The advisory group, referred to as “action item three,” provides recommendations to the district on how to implement aspects of the action items. The recommendation for the Progress Pride flag was seen as an adaptation to avoid the need to raise and lower the flag each year. Instead, the flag will be permanently displayed.
Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel, who took over from McIntyre earlier this summer, clarified the concept of “holding space” at the start of the meeting. “Holding space” refers to the willingness to walk alongside another person on their journey without judgment, making them feel inadequate, or trying to fix or control them. It means offering unconditional support and letting go of judgment and control.
The decision to display the pride flag indefinitely has sparked both support and opposition within the community. Those in favor argue that it is a symbol of inclusivity and support for LGBTQIA+ students and staff. On the other hand, some believe that the display of the flag promotes a particular political ideology and goes against the values and beliefs of certain individuals and families.
The district’s decision to fly the Pride flag indefinitely is part of a broader conversation surrounding LGBTQIA+ inclusion and support in schools. It raises questions about the role of schools in promoting diversity and inclusivity while respecting the diverse perspectives and beliefs of students and families.
As of now, it remains to be seen how the decision will be received by the community and whether any further action will be taken in response.