This article brought to you by Informed Carroll County.
It’s great to see that Anne Arundel County is following Carroll’s lead in considering a Flag Policy geared towards a politically neutral learning environment. It was just over a year ago that Carroll County adopted a similar policy.
As a parent of public school children who is actively involved in their education and partners closely with their teachers, I’d like to share some of the benefits I’ve seen.
- A Flag policy that eliminates all activist and political elements from school grounds is extremely effective at providing a safe and welcoming environment for ALL students. School staff can easily identify and remove offensive elements from school property. This includes items such as MAGA flags, BLM flags, Blue Live Matter Flags, Progressive Pride Flags and any other political/activist groups that may become popular now or in the future. In Carroll, the policy was completely mis-interpreted by the media and the press as being anti-LGBTQ. That was a false messaging effort to keep schools from being politically neutral.
- Over the past year, Carroll County has seen in INCREASE in academic achievement. That is essential to understand. Students thrived without outside political influences. Schools are not constantly being disrupted by outside influences and this opportunity provides a clear path for AACPS leadership to keep the focus on learning and not on politics.
- The vast majority of educators and support staff welcomed the change. It makes the teachers and staffs lives much easier when rules are clear and enforceable.
- One argument that was made against the Flag policy was that LGBTQ students would not feel welcome and suicide rates would increase without school support. There is no evidence over the past year to support that claim.
- Students and staff are 100% free to wear or display whatever they like on their own person, as long as it complies with the dress code policy. No first amendment rights are infringed by the school system onto students.
The vast majority of parents, educators and staff I know strongly support a politically neutral learning and work environment and the results speak for themselves. Grades and academic achievement improved.
Overall, I’ve been extremely pleased with our county’s flag policy and keeping our public schools focused on academics. I would highly encourage the school board members of Anne Arundel County to follow our county’s lead.