Public schools have a responsibility to support and provide a positive environment for all students.

One way that they do this is by displaying support for LGBTQ+ students through Pride symbols and flags.

Public school administrators are legally required to provide the same rights to all students and student clubs under the Equal Access Act. So, for example, if the school allows students from other clubs to hang flags or banners, the school has a legal responsibility to allow their GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) to do the same.

At schools, school officials are able to create guidelines around displaying supportive flags and symbols. Just because they display supportive imagery does not mean that they also need to display offensive imagery if requested to do so. Schools do not need to worry about being forced to put up offensive banners, decorations, or other imagery.

This means schools can fly flags like the Black Lives Matter or Transgender Pride flags to show support for their students. Schools do NOT have to take down these flags, even if someone requests it as a hostile symbol.

What can schools do?

  • Keep up existing inclusive flags, signs, and posters.
  • Have school faculty meetings where school employees propose new inclusive displays.
  • Put up new inclusive displays to show support for their students.
  • Provide all student clubs with the same resources.

What should schools not do?

  • Schools should not create programs that allow private individuals to propose flag suggestions.
  • Schools should not let non-school employees put up displays.
  • Schools cannot allow only some groups of students to have clubs and exclude others.