MILWAUKEE — (06-21-23) — A southeastern Wisconsin school district board could vote next month to ban LGBTQ “safe space” signs in their buildings. The Arrowhead School Board’s policy committee decided on Tuesday to forward a proposed policy banning LGBTQ ‘Safe Space’ signs to the full school board for consideration at its next meeting taking place on July 12.
Advocates for LGBTQ students have suggested that teachers post ‘safe signs’ as a show of support for their LGBTQ students. However Arrowhead’s anti-LGBTQ policy states that such signs could create a sense that some areas of schools aren’t equal because they’re safer than others and signs promoting one group over others can leave students feeling isolated.
According to the policy being proposed by leaders of the southeastern Wisconsin school district, “In part, this is because of the importance of providing substantial context for such issues and due to concerns that certain displays and postings may be perceived as the promotion of a single perspective or viewpoint on such matters or as the promotion of a staff member’s personal opinion on controversial topics,” the policy reads.
Board President Kim Schubert showed examples of alternative stickers that could replace “safe space” signs. They included phrases such as, “I am surrounded by people who appreciate and accept me for who I am.”
Board members Craig Thompson, Tim Langer and Darrell Beneker oppose the policy. Langer said he was worried about the message the policy would send to LGBTQ students.
“I would move that we table this until we can develop a policy that would take some concrete steps towards helping our LGBT students and giving them the resources that those stickers were sort of a shorthand for,” said Langer.
Arrowhead high school freshman Chase Eastman launched a petition against the policy that had 320 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
An early draft of the policy also would have banned “Black Lives Matter signs, anti-racist signage, rainbows, all flags other than the state and national flag or flags specific to a foreign language being taught and “signage of any type promoting a sexual or gender preference.”
However the conservative board members dropped their extreme language after consulting with their attorney.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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