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Sunol school board votes on display of pride flags

The small town of Sunol is having a big debate over the pride flag — and whether it should or should not be flown at school. 

The Sunol Glen Unified School District’s board is expected to make a decision on the issue Tuesday night. 

It all started back in June, when Sunol Glen School put up a flag to celebrate Pride Month, which was reportedly torn down two days later. The school responded by raising another one, this time on the campus flagpole. 

The decision caused a stir in the town of about 900 people just off Interstate 680 and state Route 84. 

Ultimately, the board president proposed this solution: a resolution limiting the display of flags on school grounds to the U.S. flag as well as California’s state flag. The school board will be voting on that resolution on Tuesday night. 

The board president turned down a request for an interview Tuesday from NBC Bay Area. But one of the board’s members, and an opponent of the resolution, did want to speak up.

“The problem with a divisive resolution like this, is that it basically achieves just the opposite of what everyone wants,” said Peter “Ted” Romo, a board trustee, “which is divisiveness.”

Sunol Glen School is the district’s only school, with 270 students in its kindergarten through eighth grade classes.

“The pride flag has been flown for multiple years without incident,” said Romo. “The goal of the school is to, of course, create an inclusive environment to demonstrate its inclusivity. The pride flag is a representation of that for a number of our students who are here.”

The school board meeting Tuesday night is expected to be standing room only. 

“It’s been all the buzz,” said Matthew Sylvester, the parent of a student at the school. “Unfortunately, this is happening, but parents are rallying.”

Sylvester stands against the resolution. 

“It does seem to be a sort-of national trend at a school board level, introducing anti-LGBTQ bills and resolutions which harm students and inclusiveness,” said Sylvester. 

Others in Sunol who support the resolution say it’s about keeping partisan politics out of education. 

“I support the LGBT community,” said Sunol resident Ajei Olivencia. “But when it comes down to pride flags, that can turn into so much more. And politics should stay away from schools.” 

Sunol’s school board has three trustees. The third and final member, who could cast the deciding vote, told NBC Bay Area that she would talk after the Tuesday meeting.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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