Central Bucks School District's Policy 321 wants to establish “neutrality” in the classrooms
Six members of the Board of School Directors for the Central Bucks School District today released an op-ed favoring Policy 321 which bans Pride flags
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In an op-ed published today in The Philadelphia Inquirer, six members of the Board of School Directors for the Central Bucks School District defended the Policy 321, which states “the district’s role is to teach students how to think, not what to think, thereby keeping classrooms as places of education, not indoctrination.”
Also, the policy bans flag, banner, poster, sign, sticker, pin, button, insignia, paraphernalia, photograph, and any additional material that advocates partisan, political, or social policy issues from being displayed in classrooms.
“So yes, Policy 321 prevents teachers from hanging Pride flags in their classrooms. But it also bans anti-abortion banners, or any poster advocating for a particular partisan, political, or social policy issue, unless related to the day’s curriculum,” wrote the six members of the Board (Debra Cannon, Sharon Collopy, Dana Hunter, James Pepper, Lisa Sciscio, and Leigh Vlasblom).
Further adding that “we understand that the policy upsets some advocates. It upsets some teachers who want to advocate their personal views in the classroom; it upsets some students who agree with those views; it upsets some community activists who want to see their views championed in the classroom; it upsets some elements of the press who agree with those views; and it upsets the three board members who voted against the policy. But this outcry merely demonstrates the urgent need for the policy. Without it, partisan activity would abound in some classrooms.”
On the day Policy 321 was being voted, students distributed Lays potato chips outside of school and changed the Lays to “Gays,” and tried to distribute inside the school, but the chips were confiscated. At the time, students tried to create a potato chip protest and were unsuccessful.
The school policy was passed in a 6 to 3 vote—dividing people in the district, especially students who shared their dismay by protesting last Friday—approximately more than 100 Central Bucks students rallied outside of Central Bucks High School West to protest Policy 321.
According to reports, the protest included “speeches by students and anonymous teachers and chats against the recently approved policy,” and a form of solidarity for LGBTQ+ students impacted by this school policy—claiming to bring neutrality and balance to the classroom, but continues to divide the community.
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Department of Education claiming the Central Bucks School District is ‘contributing to the hostile environment for [LGBTQ] students.’
The complaint was filed on behalf of seven Central Bucks School District students detailing incidents of intimidation tactics and bullying.
The response of Central Bucks School District was for ACLU to reveal LGBTQ students identity behind federal complaint—ACLU refused to provide the identity of students out of fear of retaliation against the students involved.