Nathan Feldman alleges that his two children have been denied their First Amendment rights at the K-8 Slavens School in Denver.
He says that a “straight flag” would represent his children’s beliefs and should be allowed to be hung and displayed on campus the same way LGBTQ+ flags are.
Feldman’s lawyer, Michael Yoder, has blamed equality, diversion and inclusion policies in Denver for the “overt sexualisation of content in elementary schools nationwide”.
“If we had more parents like [Feldman], then these policies would never have been rolled out in the first place, and they’d be teaching kids about math and science,” Yoder said. “They wouldn’t be talking about sexual orientation and homosexuality and having this flamboyant breeding ground for inappropriate content.”
However, a spokesperson for LGBTQ Colorado said the symbol of a pride flag was meant to be inclusive for everyone.
LGBTQ Colorado issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit: “A Pride flag is not meant to be exclusive – it is designed to be inclusive.
“It is meant to draw attention and humanity to people who historically have been considered ‘illegal’, ostracized, excluded, and for too long quiet victims of discrimination and violence.
“A Straight Pride Flag speaks ‘us vs them’ wherein a Pride flag lifts up an ‘all of us’ dynamic that recognizes the too often quiet and quieted LGBTQ+ community.”
It includes black, brown, pink, baby blue and white lines as part of an arrow, to represent marginalised people of colour in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the trans community, and those living with HIV/AIDS.
The flag’s artist, Daniel Quasar, said that “the arrow points to the right to show forward movement while being along the left edge shows that progress still needs to be made”.
The lawsuit claims that Feldman told teachers that the flags were “not inclusive of all Slavens School students and only represent one viewpoint on the topic of sex”.
Feldman asked if he could place a “straight flag”, which represents his children’s views, alongside the existing flags.
After Feldman was allegedly told by the principal that “the District doesn’t allow for other flags”, he proceeded to file a lawsuit against the US District of Columbia.David Lane, a civil rights attorney based in Denver, said whilst he disagrees with Feldman’s stance, he agrees with the Colorado father that the school district has breached his children’s First Amendments.“People are under the mistaken belief that offensive speech or hate speech is not protected speech. The US Supreme Court has said the government doesn’t get to choose and decide what is offensive, what is not offensive,” said Lane.
“If they’re going to allow any political speech, they’re going to have to allow all political speech of a related nature.”
At time of writing, a spokesperson for Denver Public Schools has said they have still not been served with the lawsuit.