North East School District students and parents voiced their frustration on Thursday night. According to them, there are no more pride flags anywhere in the schools.
The students spoke in front of board members at Thursday night’s meeting. They say without the pride flags in schools, it makes them feel like their voices are not heard.
Students and parents say what was once a safe space at North East School District has recently been jeopardized. They say this is because there are no pride flags in the halls, classrooms, or anywhere to be seen throughout the schools.
“Taking these down just because it’s hurting a few people’s feelings, how is that supposed to make people feel? Like they just don’t matter,” said Lilyauna Triana, a North East School District student.
“I’m hoping they will allow the teachers to put the pride flags back up in the building. I don’t think it’s hurting anybody. It just gives a symbol of a safe place for these kids to go,” said Nicole Locke, a North East School District parent.
North East School District superintendent Michele Hartzell says the school officials will need to investigate the matter more.
“I would like some time to look into it and I will have my administration or myself meet with a couple of the students that spoke tonight and we’ll just gather more information,” said Michele Hartzell, Superintendent of the North East School District.
Dominic Turiczek is a junior in high school and member of the LGBTQ community. He says he does not want anyone to feel alone.
“I didn’t have the support system at home that I do now and the only reason I made it through middle school was because of teachers that have these flags in their classrooms and I knew it was a safe space I could go to be myself and to have allies,” said Dominic Turiczek, a North East School District student.
After speaking in front of board members, students hope there will be a solution in keeping the classrooms a safe space.
“An equity group or a GSA or something along those lines that includes, not only people in the LGBTQ community but people in all races, genders, religions, all walks of life,” Turiczek said.
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