Middle School Forces Teacher To Remove Thin Blue Line Flag But Allows Anti-Police Messaging From Other Teachers

WA teacher

A Washington middle school teacher was forced to remove her Thin Blue Line flag from her classroom. If she didn’t? She would face “further disciplinary action.”

In Memorium

The teacher works for the Marysville Middle School in Marysville, Washington. She had the flag displayed in her classroom in honor of her brother.

Her surviving brother, Chris Sutherland, spoke with Jason Rantz on KTTH. Their brother was a Marysville Police Department officer who was a school resource officer.

He died during a shooting at the Marysville Pilchuck High School. First, she placed a Thin Blue Line sticker on the outside of her laptop for her brother and those who have also died.

For the past 75 years, the Thin Blue Line has honored those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Now the flag flies with the Thin Blue Line to show support for law enforcement.

According to Sutherland, the sticker was a problem for an assistant principal. According to KTTH, Human Resources document said the assistant principal said there were “concerns about how students, families, and community members might interpret what the image is intending to communicate and that this interpretation may cause a disruption to the learning environment.”

Take It Down

However, the sister said the objections went away, according to Sutherland. After that, she hung the Thin Blue Line flag in the classroom. It was up on a bulletin board with pictures of her brother around it. Sutherland told Rantz that his sister was trying to tell their brother’s story. However, she was told by a different assistant principal to take it down.

“They told her that it’s controversial to have that flag up. That it makes kids and staff feel unsafe, which to me, that does not make sense at all.”

Chris Sutherland

Sutherland said that the HR department sent his sister a letter explaining why it needed to be taken down, citing that it is a political symbol. However, PRIDE flags and BLM displays are allowed to be put up throughout the school. They cited the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and other far-right groups as to why it has become political and tied to violence.

The teacher is upset by the school’s decision. Sutherland said to Rantz, “It’s hurtful because I can hear in her voice how much it actually hurts her being told to [take down the flag].”




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