Banks School District leaders released a statement to address rumors about LGBTQ flags at Banks High.

A few Banks High School teachers hung up rainbow flags in their classrooms to support LGBTQ youth. That started a rumor that rainbow flags replaced American ones.Rumors have been circulating around Banks that a few Banks High School teachers replaced American flags with rainbow LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) flags in their classrooms last week.

Those reports are unfounded, Banks School District Superintendent Jeff Leo said in a press release put out by the district Monday, Jan. 8.

As community members chatted amongst themselves and on social media — threads on the Banks Community Bulletin Board Facebook group page, for example — inaccurate information started to spread. A parent even shared the rumors with a radio station Friday afternoon, Jan. 5.

Some stated that all clothing with flags had been banned from Banks schools. Others stated that American flags were all gone.

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

A few teachers have chosen to display LGBTQ flags in their classrooms, but they are not replacing any other flags.

The rainbow flags are "intended as a symbol of support for LGBTQ students," the release stated. "At Banks School District, it is our goal to create an environment where all students feel welcome, safe and supported. "

The release also pointed out Banks School Board policies and Oregon state law, which both state that no student will be discriminated against in a school setting. The district is asking community members to direct concerns about the school environment, curriculum and staff action toward Leo or Banks High Principal Jacob Pence.

The district office phone number is 503-324-8591.

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