Nebraska LGBTQ advocates write letters after Millard mix-up over pride flags

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — OutNebraska, an LGBTQ advocacy group, often helps people write letters to officials and lawmakers.

On Friday, they were writing to Millard North High School in Omaha.

Recently, there was confusion over pride flags and safe space stickers displayed at the school.

Students told the Nebraska Examiner they felt unsafe and unwelcome after a teacher removed flags and stickers supporting LGBTQ rights because the teachers thought they violated policy.

But it may have been a misunderstanding.

Millard Public Schools said teachers can’t bring items tied to politics or advocacy organizations into the classroom. But pride flags or stickers can be put up as long as names of advocacy organizations are covered up.

OutNebraska believes that supportive environments help students learn better.

Research shows that LGBTQ young people have contemplated suicide in higher numbers and miss more school over fears of being bullied.

“I think the important thing about having signs and symbols that support students is that we are very much under attack as a community,” said Abbi Swatsworth, the organization’s executive director.

LGBTQ advocates say symbols should not be considered political, but instead an issue of human rights.

“We do exist across races, across religious backgrounds, across political parties and ideologies,” Swatsworth said. “We are not inherently political because we exist.”

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