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School flooded with abuse after shock jock falsely claims they ‘replaced’ US flag with rainbow flag

Nick Duffy January 16, 2018
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File photo (Creative Commons/Ted Eytan)

A school in Oregon was barraged with abuse after a right-wing radio host falsely claimed that they took down the US flag to put up a rainbow flag.

Banks High School claim under fire after a caller on right-wing talk host Lars Larson’s radio show claimed the US flag had been taken down.

The caller said: “Our son is a junior at Banks High School. He informed us this week that he has two teachers in his school that have taken down the American flag and replaced it with a gay flag.”

Larson pinned the blame on the school, claiming “the teacher who put it up may be gay or bisexual or whatever”.


The school was quickly flooded by complaints from Larson’s listeners.

However, the story was not actually true.

While there was indeed a rainbow flag put up at the school, it was by a student, not a teacher – and no US flag was removed or covered up.

Jeff Leo, the superintendent of the Banks School District in Washington County, put out a release challenging the coverage.

Leo said: “There were allegations that a United States flag was replaced by a LGBTQ flag in a classroom at Banks High School.

“This information was shared by a parent with a local radio station Friday afternoon. The information shared was not accurate.

“No United States flag has been removed from any classroom at Banks High School over the course of the school year. In fact, the Banks School District has policies requiring a United States flag in every classroom.

“It is true that a few teachers have chosen to display LGBTQ flags in their classrooms. These flags have not replaced any United States flags, and are intended as a symbol of support for LGBTQ students.

“At Banks School District, it is our goal to create an environment where all students feel welcome, safe, and supported.”

(Flickr/Scott Beale)
(Flickr/Scott Beale)

Leo added:  “We are following our school board policies and Oregon State Law. These explicitly state no student shall be discriminated against in a school setting.

“Please contact the school if you have any concerns with the school environment, curriculum, or actions of students or staff members. Direct your concern to the Principal of the school involved or the Banks School District Superintendent.”

16-year-old Sam Munda, who put up the rainbow flag, told local news station KATU: “It’s for the students.

“It was so students knew Banks High School is supportive of them. Having parents upset, that was not my intention. It’s not what I wanted at all.”

But critics flooded the school’s Facebook page, calling for it to ban the rainbow flag.


One said: “There needs to be no other flag in public schools except the American flag. Other flags should be displayed in the privacy of your own home, not a classroom. I vote to have it removed.”

Another added: “I thought the flag of the United States of America represents We the People and those that died to protect our freedom. All US citizens be they gay, straight, any color, of any religious denomination, etc. This social justice movement separates and divides people. United we stand, divided we fall. Enough. One flag is all this country needs.”

More: flag, LGBT, Oregon, Radio, radio host, rainbow, school, US

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