In Burlington, Massachusetts, school officials referred to the behavior of students who disrupted a middle school’s Pride Month events as “completely unacceptable.” They compared it to violence and added that it was “demeaning” to other pupils.
Students at Marshall Simonds Middle School apparently expressed their clear discontent with the institution’s “spirit day” celebration on June 2, 2023, according to Boston.com. According to the publication, the event had been requested and also sponsored by the school’s Spectrum Club, a student organization for purported LGBTQ+ students and supporters.
Happy Pride Month banners and posters with the message “Why it is not OK to say That is so gay” were placed throughout the campus by the club. In addition to distributing rainbow streamers, banners, and stickers, teachers, and students were also urged to dress in rainbow-themed attire.
According to reports, protesting students tore down banners and flags while chanting “U.S.A. are my pronouns” and wearing red, white, and blue clothing and face paint. The source said that children were observed “behaving inappropriately” while using the rainbow stickers that were distributed at the occasion.
Cari Purchase, the school’s administrator, wrote in a letter that she was “extremely disheartened” by the kids. Although she claimed to appreciate “freedom of speech,” she also asserted that ideas that are “demeaning” to other people are unacceptable.
“I completely acknowledge the diversity of perspectives and beliefs present in our community. I also appreciate people’s freedom of speech and their right to wear whatever they choose,” she said. “It is completely unacceptable whenever the beliefs and actions of one person or group of people result in the denigration of another person or group.”
The principal added, “I am very sorry that a day intended for you to celebrate your identity evolved into a day of hate. Schools are meant to be a safe environment for ALL kids and staff. Many of our kids, caregivers, and staff members were placed in a dangerous atmosphere due to the conduct of some community members,” she continued.
Eric Conti, the superintendent of Burlington Public Schools, is said to have sent a letter to parents criticizing the pupils. According to reports, the administrator asserted that anti-LGBTQ+ violence has increased nationwide and “has no place within our schools.”
“As with other MSMS spirit day events, participation is voluntary. However, displaying respect for one another across the board is expected,” he stated.