Atascadero parents and community members packed the district office Tuesday night during the school district’s regular board meeting.
Parents were there to express their opinions regarding Atascadero middle school teacher, Jen Pence, displaying a rainbow pride flag in her classroom. Misinformation had spread in the days prior that the teacher had been disciplined, forced to take down the flag, or disciplinary action would be taken during the board meeting. Superintendent Tom Butler clarified that there has been no action taken, and there was nothing on the agenda that night regarding the teacher.
Despite this, attendees gave public comment for more than two hours during the meeting. Many of the speakers expressed their support for displaying the pride flag, saying that the flag is “a unifying symbol” and it “reminds every student… they can be their true selves without fear.” Other speakers during the meeting showed concern about the pride flag in the classroom, saying that it could influence children, and that the only flag that should be flown in classrooms is the American flag.
The next Atascadero school board meeting will be September 6th.