WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Wilson County school board member is calling for all political, ideological, and religious flags to be taken down in the classroom. That would include pride flags and safe space stickers.
“This should be neutral, the classroom should be an equalizer,” Joseph Padilla, Wilson County Zone 4 School Board member, said.
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Wilson County school board member, Joseph Padilla, said the school board should hold the power over what can and cannot be displayed in the classroom. Currently, Wilson County school principals decide.
“The parents I talk to are okay with ‘if we have to remove everything, we have to remove everything,’” Padilla said.
However, one Wilson County parent addressed her concerns recently during a school board meeting.
“As an LGBTQ parent, please do not take down these stickers. I know for my teen, it meant the world to see this sticker at Green Hill High School,” said Wilson County parent, Erin Carroll Moore.
“This sticker is not a political sticker, in my mind, it is common sense,” Mark Martin said.
Mark Martin is an economics teacher at Mt. Juliet High School. A safe space sticker has been in the front of his classroom for years.
“I don’t believe it is a political sticker, there is no politics in this. Telling a student that this is a safe space and conducive to learning no matter who they are is not political,” Martin said.
However, Padilla said he would like to see stickers, flags, and materials that could create differences of opinions stay in a neutral space across all Wilson County schools.
“They should all be taken down and if we are going to put them somewhere and compromise, go put them in the lobby and put a list of teachers who are safe space teachers and let anyone go there to get any information that they want,” Padilla said.
Padilla said he plans to bring a new policy recommendation forward that would allow the school board to decide what can and cannot be displayed in the classroom.
The next Wilson County school board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7.