By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
AUBURN, AL — Things have gotten heated in Auburn as a group of students and parents are divided and angry on both sides over a Alabama high school’s decision to display the official PRIDE flag over the school to promote extracurricular activities.
In fact over 270 anti-LGBT supporters signed a ‘petition‘ on Aug. 18 requesting that the PRIDE flag be removed. The PRIDE flag was created by the school’s ‘EDUCATE club’, which is known to promote diversity. The firestorm kicked off last week when at a school fair for extracurricular groups and activities, local NBC affiliate WSFA saw the PRIDE flag and broadcasted the story.
The petition was sent to the Auburn High School Principal Shannon Pignato, where they argue that the presence of the PRIDE flag creates “a hostile and uncomfortable learning environment” for those who don’t support LGBTQ rights. said the petition.
However LGBT supporters who launched their own “counter petition” vastly outnumbered the anti-LGBT petitioners. “In the real world, to suggest individuals be isolated from differing political views is an absurdity. ” Read the petition. “To be made uncomfortable by opinions differing to your own is to function as a modern human,” that petition, which can be found here and had over 4,200 supporters as of Monday afternoon, reads. “Attempting to insulate a student from political discourse would be an insult to their intelligence.”
High School Principal Shannon Pignato has sent out a statement to media outlets and parents where she said…..“I am aware of the situation regarding the petitions and we are working with both staff and students to address everyone’s concerns.” Pignato went on to say that Aughurn high school was “a reflection of the Auburn community,” and therefore, “societal issues present themselves on campus.”
“In our country today, people are often seen addressing their objections through violence and hate,” she added. “It is my sincere desire to assist our students in learning to address their opinions and values in a calm and respectful manner.” said Pignato.
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