Note: If your time is limited, I recommend watching the first and last 20 minutes of this meeting.
During a school board meeting on July 13, Newberg School Board Director Brian Shannon put a motion on the table to remove the “BLM” and “LGTBQ Pride” flags from Newberg schools.
He believes that to many, they are symbols of political divisiveness. Shannon suggested the American flag and Oregon flag hang in every classroom, since they are what most Newberg students have in common.
Director Shannon also moved that a committee revisit and possibly revise the Newberg Anti-Racist Resolution 2020-04. Some Directors of the Newberg School Board did not agree with this motion, so it was decided that the vote would be tabled until the next school board meeting on Tuesday, August 10 at 7 p.m. (online only).
“We condemn the actions of Director Brian Shannon, Chairman Dave Brown, and board members who support removing the Every Student Belongs policy, which was a Republican chief-sponsored bill that passed with bipartisan support.
“The intent of the Legislature in developing this piece of legislation was to protect children in the classroom and create a competitive workforce prepared for the challenges of the future.
“Oregon businesses now and in the future will need communities that are safe for their workforces and potential clients.
“We are also extremely concerned by the board’s undemocratic attempt to push through their politically-motivated agenda without input from the public. We can’t let this spread any further.”
The request to remove the BLM and LGBTQ flags was made on the basis that these are taxpayer, government funded schools, so it is obligatory not to elevate one political party over another, nor one group of people over another.
The goal is freedom and equality for everyone. Students should feel free to support the political causes they choose to support. But the schools should not be influencing them with any bias.
Oregon House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner wrote a statement condemning the actions by the 4-3 conservative Newberg School Board to revoke bi-partisan anti-racist policy.
“What the school board is doing is reckless, prioritizing bigoted and partisan politics over our children’s well-being and ability to succeed in and outside of the classroom. As the Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus previously stated, Every Student Belongs was implemented with the intent of creating a competitive workforce that adequately equips our students with the tools and skills to work in an increasingly diversified job market and global economy.”
Despite this, public schools are tasked with educating our children, not getting involved in social justice issues.
Since the last meeting, the Newberg School board has been receiving many emails expressing opposition to Brian Shannon’s motion. The Yamhill Republican Party’s anti-critical race theory committee is asking for Newberg School District parents and residents to fill out the form to the school board expressing your feelings over BLM and LGBTQ flags and biased and destructive propaganda in the classroom (Note: If you are in another School district, you need to be similarly involved, telling school board members your views).
We are hearing that there is the typical pressure group opposition in the community to this proposal and they are bombarding the school board with emails. If you agree with this proposal and would like to see our schools refocus on education, now is the time to be vocal. The four conservative board members are in need of community support right now.
Who is “BIPOC”
The BIPOC group (apparently all women, though we do not mean to demean them if they consider themselves some other gender), is a far left caucus within the Oregon Legislature dedicated to the overthrow of traditional America as we’ve known it. The acronym stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Members include Rep. Andrea Valderrama (D-East Portland), Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Rep. Wlnsvey Campos (D-Aloha), Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-North/NE Portland), Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland), Rep. Teresa Alonso-Leon (D-Woodburn) and Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley).