Millard Public Schools officials, students say controversy over LGBTQ+ items a ‘big misunderstanding’

Nebraska state senator raised concerns about removed ‘pride’ items
A "misunderstanding" could be to blame for public outcry, according to one school district
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 6:49 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A Nebraska lawmaker is getting entangled in a controversy involving Millard Public Schools.

State Sen. Megan Hunt posted on social media that she heard allegations that teachers at Millard North weren’t allowed to display things like pride flags and “safe space” stickers.

Millard North administrators and some students say it’s all a big misunderstanding.

“I actually have a debate class with one of my teachers, and they have a giant pride flag in their classroom,” said Jordan Marquez, an openly transgender student at Millard North.

Marquez was surprised to hear about a post on Hunt’s Facebook page showing an email the state senator had sent to an MPS administrator.

The email talks about claims that teachers are not allowed to “display pride flags, safe space stickers or anything associated with the Human Rights Campaign.”

“That’s not true,” Marquez said.

In a statement, MPS said they believe the misunderstanding stems in part from a district policy asking staff not to bring politics or advocacy organizations into the classroom unless it directly relates to approved curriculum.

The district says that does not mean that flags, stickers or other symbols cannot be displayed.

MPS says they think there may have been confusion because there was an issue a few weeks ago with a display that included, in part, the removal of a pride flag. MPS would not give specifics.

Ewan Walker is another openly transgender student at Millard North. They say whatever happened, they believe the school is inclusive and they feel supported.

“We have a thing that’s called SAGA, which is, not an awareness, but it’s a club for the LGBTQ community after school — that they can just get informed of what’s going on,” Walker said.

6 News made attempts to contact Hunt who is currently in Washington, D.C.; but did not receive a statement from her before airtime.