In honor of her brother, a teacher in Washington hung up a Thin Blue Line flag in her classroom. Although the teacher had already gotten into trouble with the assistant principal for having a Thin Blue Line sticker on her laptop, she decided to push the envelope and install the flag in her classroom. Although the school district allows teachers to fly Black Lives Matter and Gay Pride rainbow flags, the teacher was ordered to remove the Thin Blue Line flag from her classroom immediately or face disciplinary action.
The school district does not allow the pro-police flag because it is “too political.” However, the teacher wanted to post it in her classroom to show her support from her brother, Chris Sutherland, who is alive but retired from the force after he served as a school resource officer during the fatal school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in 2014.
During a conversation with Daily Mail, Sutherland said: “She was told it makes students and teachers of color uncomfortable.”
He also spoke to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH and mentioned how the flag was deemed too controversial for the classroom.
“They told her that it’s controversial to have that flag up,” Sutherland told The Jason Rantz Show. “That it makes kids and staff feel unsafe, which to me, that does not make sense at all.”
Sutherland’s sister, the teacher in question, has not been named. Sutherland said that she hung the flag up on her bulletin board and surrounded it with pictures of Sutherland while he was on duty. It didn’t take long for administrators within the Marysville School District to take offense to the flag, and soon they were asking her to remove it or face the consequences.
Although the school district allows teachers to fly Black Lives Matter and Gay Pride rainbow flags, she was ordered to remove it.
Sutherland said that he believes his sister’s flag is a reflection of what America should look like: “The message I would say for my sister’s flag specifically is more along the lines of unity rather than a protest against a certain group of people or individuals,” he said.
The school district did not respond to Daily Mail’s request for comment about why they allowed Black Lives Matter and Gay Pride flags in the classroom but banned his sister’s Thin Blue Line flag.
According to an HR document about the incident that was obtained by radio show host Rantz, the school’s assistant principal had approached the teacher about the political symbol. There were “concerns about how students, families, and community members might interpret what the image is intending to communicate and that this interpretation may cause a disruption to the learning environment.”
When these objects went away, the teacher posted a larger flag in her classroom. That’s when the school sent a Letter of Clarification to the teacher, telling her that the district was “highly concerned about the impact of this political symbol on students, staff, and families of Marysville Middle School.”
Do you think this teacher should be allowed to fly the Thin Blue Line flag in class?
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