A Washington middle school teacher was forced to remove a Thin Blue Line flag from her classroom by the assistant principle.
The teacher was told in no uncertain terms that if she refused to remove the symbol, she would face "further disciplinary action."
The teacher, who works for the Marysville Middle School in Marysville, Washington, had the Thin Blue Line flag displayed in her classroom in honor of her brother. She also had a pride flag on display in honor of her sister.
Her brother, Chris Sutherland, is a survivor of the Marysville School shooting and one of the Law Enforcement Officers first on scene.
For the past 75 years, the Thin Blue Line has honored those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The black and white American flag with a blue line for one of the stripes flies in support for Law Enforcement.
However, the Marysville Middle School assistant Principal at the time had a problem with the symbolism. According to KTTH, 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.”
However, nothing was said about the pride flag.
Take It Down
After awhile, the objections subsided and the teacher once more hung the flag. However, later that year, a different assistant principal ordered the teacher 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 this flag is a political symbol. However, any pride flags and BLM symbols are allowed to be put up throughout the school.
In fact, any symbolism aligning with leftist politics were considered appropriate because they were "in line with the district’s stated goals of equity and inclusion".
School officials cited the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and other far-right groups as to why the thin blue line flag has become political and connected to violence.
The teacher and her brother, along with many community members and parents, are upset by the school's decision.