MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — A group of students and staff walked out of Morgantown High School on Wednesday, the second act of protest against Monongalia County Schools’ policy which resulted in the removal of a pride flag within 24 hours.
The group scheduled the walkout for 1 p.m., so students would not return to class after lunch. The walkout was organized by the Morgantown Pride group and dozens of students participated. Notable community members who were in attendance include Del. Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia), Ash Orr, President of Morgantown Pride, and Jodi Hollingshead, a representative of Protect Morgantown.
The group is protesting a policy that bans political flags in Monongalia County Schools. Protesters claim that the pride flag is not a political flag because it represents a person’s identity, not their political affiliation. Tuesday evening, a group protested outside the Monongalia Board of Education over the policy.
Student walkout currently at Morgantown High School over Pride flags not being allowed in classrooms in Monongalia County.— Riley (@HolsingerRiley) September 28, 2022
Delegate Danielle Walker currently speaking to the students and other community members. pic.twitter.com/N3ytD1UZ2w
A WBOY poll shows that 12 News viewers are split on the issue; 49.4% believe that pride flags should not be included in the policy, 44.7% believe that it should, and 5.9% said they could see it either way. Those results show 622 entries as of 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The ACLU of West Virginia has expressed support for the students in the walkout on Twitter, saying, “We stand in solidarity with Monongalia County students…For everyone walking out today, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.” It followed the Tweet threat and included facts on the rights of free speech and the First Amendment.