A New Mexico high school teacher is triggered about the Rio Rancho Public School District (RRPSD) decision to ban the display of the Pride flag on classroom safe space signs as part of a policy aimed at eliminating “political messages” from educational spaces and apparently cracking down on grooming children.
The policy came to light when the principal of Cleveland High School sent an email to all teachers instructing them to remove the Pride flag from safe space signs and display only the school logo. This directive aligns with the district’s new guidelines.
Safe space signs, often featuring the Pride flag, are supposedly intended to create “inclusive” and “supportive” environments for “LGBTQ+” students. The anonymous teacher from Cleveland High School expressed confusion and disappointment about the change, telling KOB 4, “I’m not sure where this is coming from. Why did signs have to change or what, like, why they have to be these new signs which completely are inadequate in signaling anything that’s meaningful for students.”
The teacher emphasized the supposed importance of these safe spaces, claiming, “LGBTQ students, the statistics are really clear, they experience more bullying, and as a result, are more likely to experience mental health issues or suicidal ideation. And so safe spaces are places where students feel they can just be themselves.”
In response to the policy change, RRPSD is reportedly instructing teachers to remove pronouns from their email signatures, allowing only their title and name.
When questioned about the policy shift, RRPSD provided a statement emphasizing its commitment to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students. The statement indicated that the district’s goal is to maintain unity and inclusivity without singling out specific groups.
“We believe that all buildings, classrooms, and playgrounds should be safe zones,” the statement reads. “We are all unified in this effort and chose not to represent one group of students individually from another but rather each school is unified in their support of ALL students regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation, physical or cognitive disability or any other distinguishing characteristic; or on an association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived distinguishing characteristics.”
The RRPSD oversees 20 schools and serves approximately 16,000 students. The district’s decision has sparked debate about the balance between promoting inclusivity and preventing perceived political messaging within educational institutions.