KUNA, Idaho — Some parents in the Kuna School District are talking on social media about an incident that happened on Wednesday. They say their kids witnessed a group of kids harassing another student for bringing a rainbow flag to Kuna Middle School.
The rainbow flag is also known as a pride flag. It's a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer pride and LGBTQ social movements.
Holly Pearl is the mother of a student at Kuna Middle School. She told KTVB, her daughter came home upset, after she witnessed a teacher take away another student's pride flag during an 8th grade class photo. She says the flag was on the student's back and couldn't be seen in the photo.
“Immediately after the flag being taken, a majority, not all, but a majority of the 8th graders started applauding the teacher's action,” Pearl said.
When students later gathered to sign yearbooks, that’s when Holly's daughter says things got worse.
“At this time the student had her flag back and other students took the initiative to start harassing her and getting the flag from her, and they did get the flag from her and then destroyed it, and were laughing and applauding about that,” Pearl said.
From Holly's understanding, adults were around, and no one did anything to stop this. She described her daughter's reaction to KTVB.
“She was upset, she knows we as a community can do better, we can treat humans better,” Pearl said. “I was livid, I was really upset that's the environment our children are in, I feel it’s the school’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for every single student, and they failed at that yesterday.”
KTVB reached out to the school district about this. A spokesperson for the Kuna School District says, they can't confirm those events. However, the principal told the district, a student took a rainbow flag from another student and stepped on it. The student who took the flag was directed to the school administrator. The student later apologized to the other student. The school administrator discussed with students how to be respectful of others.
“I understand that I wasn’t there so I will give the benefit of doubt, however, what I heard directly from my student and what other parents are hearing from their students, I think the school is neglecting to take accountability for their staff and the staff themselves are neglecting to take accountability,” Pearl said.
Another mother posted on social media about the incident. That post has garnered more than 130 comments in less than 24 hours.
“Ultimately, I want that student to know she’s not alone, and all the students that were targeted, they do have a support, and as a community we should be doing better,” Pearl said.
She adds her daughter shared with her that on Thursday, the school’s principal talked to the class about what happened.
A spokesperson for the Kuna School District told KTVB, laws prohibit school districts from sharing discipline information for individual students. They encourage parents to contact the school directly when they have questions about information shared by their student or any concerns they have.
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