MI teacher quits after being asked to remove the pride flag
A teacher says he signed from a Michigan college after refusing to remove a pride flag from his classroom.
Russell Ball, a teacher who worked at Three Rivers Middle School, resigned after receiving an email from the school principal this month ask educators to remove all pride flags in classrooms, reported WWMT.
Ball said he had been a teacher for more than a decade in a video posted to social media.
He told MLive he got an email from the principal a few days later, once again calling for the removal of the pride flags.
“Due to an external challenge in the district which has reached board level, I have been informed that building staff who have pride flags hanging in their rooms will have to remove them until further notice. “, got an email from the manager. by WWMT said.
Ball said he then received a text from the manager asking him to remove the flag, according to WWMT.
âI was extremely disheartened,â Ball told the outlet. “I was quite livid that something that means so much to me was seen as political and divisive, when in reality it only represents love and acceptance, inclusion for everyone.”
Ball resigned on November 22 after receiving the text message, MLive reported.
“Students lose this representation in all the classrooms really hurts, losing my own representation in the classroom really hurts. It was just something I wasn’t ready to do, âhe told WOOD-TV.
He tweeted his resignation.
“I refuse to participate actively in the oppression and suppression of an already marginalized student population,” he wrote. “The PRIDE flag is not political.”
On November 24, the school sent a statement to families and staff, WWMT reported.
According to the email, the flags were withdrawn in response to an “outside party” who contacted the school board about the school’s Gay Straight Alliance club. The email said the flags had been “temporarily removed” due to concern, and that the issue would be addressed at the December 6 board meeting.
Ball, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, said in a TikTok video that he didn’t want to contribute to oppression of an âalready marginalized groupâ.
âThe pride flag represents love, inclusion and equality, something that should be present in every classroom across the country,â he said in the video, which was seen over 3,200 in the past week. âBy removing it, I have the impression that I am being told that I am disabled, that I do not belong. And this is not a message I want to send to myself or to any of my students. “
Ball said in the video he was already suffering from “professional burnout” when told to remove his flag.
He shared this advice for students who identify as LGBTQ: âYou belong. You matter and you always have a place in this world.
Three Rivers is located on the southern Michigan border and in St. Joseph County.