Osceola school board denies ban on political symbols and flags on campuses

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Tuesday night’s Osceola County Board meeting got a little heated over what symbols and flags should be on school campuses.

The Resolution, School District Flags was proposed and motioned by School board member Jon Arguello.

Arguello said it came after concerned emails from parents about pride symbols in the classroom.

“It’s nondiscriminatory. Doesn’t matter if you’re gay or you’re white, or Chinese or your parents are from A or Z. Get it all out of the classroom and just focus on education,” said Arguello.

The resolution was to only allow the American and Florida states to be flown or displayed on school campuses, banning flags that stood for causes like Pride flags or Black Lives Matter flags or symbols.

Many people from both sides of the resolution spoke during public comment to voice their concern about why representation mattered or didn’t in the class.

“We don’t need other flags that hold on no value such as the political flags of Biden, Trump, Black Lives Matter, or the LGBTQ flags,” said a public speaker.

“We’re telling students they can’t wear or display anything that resembles their beliefs or identity,” said a public speaker.

Arguello told Eyewitness News the resolution was not to point the finger at one group but to take the politics out of school and focus on the fundamentals, which he said lagged in grades in Osceola.

“If you can observe any of the surrounding counties in our area, they are not doing great. We don’t have 50% in reading proficiency for grade level, but we’re going to be talking about politics for six months. It’s a terrible lack of leadership that led to the failure of this resolution,” said Arguello.

The resolution did allow for exceptions for some symbols only if the symbols have educational purposes.

The resolution did not pass the board.

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