'Born This Way' flag up for discussion after parent raises conce - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Born This Way' flag up for discussion after parent raises concern

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) -

A father stands by his son after his son turns his back to a flag with the words, 'Born This Way' in rainbow colors, that’s been hanging in his classroom.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bryce Jacquot received a message from his 17-year-old son about a flag that was hanging in his classroom at Murphysboro High School.

“He took a picture of a rainbow flag that said, 'Born This Way' and when I seen it, I called the school," Jacquot said.

Jacquot said he was hoping the flag would be removed the next day, but it wasn’t. Jacquot said he told his son and his son's friend to face the other way when in class.

“I instructed both boys that if it offends you, turn your chairs away from it and sit silently, do not disrupt class. They did so, nothing was said " Jacquot said. "And I respect my son’s decision and this is how he was raised.” 

The teacher, Amanda Morris, said she put the flag up for an upcoming event sponsored by the gay-straight alliance group – a new student club this year at the school.

"I put it up as kind of a way to generate interest in our event that’s coming up next week and I had every intention of taking it down you know, after the event," Morris explained.

Morris explained she had no problem with the two students facing away from the flag.

"I believe everyone has a right to his or her beliefs,that's one of my strongest beliefs as an educator," Morris said. "I understand where they're coming from and I let them express their dissent in any manner they chose to as long as it wasn't disruptive to the class and it wasn't. So they're perfectly allowed and I'm perfectly okay with them turning their seat."

Jacquot said he will continue to make noise until something is done.

"That school is there to teach math, science, history, they’re not there to indoctrinate or try to change my son’s views or my children’ views to whatever they think is fit," he said.

“I personally feel that if I took it down, that that would be sending the wrong message to my kids," Morris said. "Like they don’t matter, and I just can’t do that. You know after our event, when I plan to take it down, then I will, but I really don’t want to send that message to my students.”

Jacquot explained he had no problem with the new club.

"If they want to teach tolerance to other children and parents are okay with that, let them be okay with it, I’m not okay with that flag," he said.

The principal, Tony Wilson, said the flag is up for discussion on whether or not it will be taken down and said it’s not about what’s right vs. what’s wrong, but what’s best for the students.

“Our decision has to be what’s best for them," Wilson said. "And sometimes you can’t come to that decision in a day or two because it really does impact the students in the school day and the community, so trying to find a balance is the tricky part, but we’ll do our best.” 

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