Newburg Public Schools, outside of Portland, Oregon adopted a ban on political symbols after four board members observed what they considered to be indoctrination in the classroom. Two of the board members supporting the ban face possible recall.
For years, teachers were allowed to fly the “progressive flag,” a combination of the gay pride flag with black and brown tones signaling minority oppression, and black lives matter flags in classrooms, The Daily Wire reports. Board members voted in August 2021 to prohibit the use of the flags and other political symbols at school.
Despite the decision and the vote, the directive continues to be ignored. Rather than comply, the teachers union, Newberg Education Association, mounted a campaign to remove board members and sue those who instituted the policy. Hollywood celebrities are donating funds towards the recall.
A private Facebook group consisting largely of union members and elected officials, Newburg Equity for Education (NEEd), intends to influence the school board to adopt critical race theory (CRT) in the Newburg schools. After this group was activated, Newburg started a book club for the school community.
“In August 2020, NEEd members created something called The Antiracism Family Book Club in schools,” Gabe Kaminsky writes for The Daily Wire. “Contentious books were taught, such as one titled Stamped and other works by prominent critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi.”
Additionally, a student union was formed exclusively for “those who identify as black.”
Newburg is reliably conservative, voting for Republican presidential candidates since 2000, but the views of the parents and community members are ignored in favor of the leftist culture, reports The Daily Wire.
“It was very evident that teachers had an agenda to push,” Newburg parent Amber Dawson told The Daily Wire.
When the community voted in new board members, rejecting those with progressive views, those new board members were targeted and attacked. They are facing lawsuits from the teachers union, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a group called Private Citizens of Newburg, The Daily Wire reports. One board member, Brian Shannon, was terminated from his job after his company was inundated with calls demanding that he be fired. He has been forced to find new employment.
Board member Brown and his wife are regularly harassed and board members state harassing calls come from all over the country.
Another pro-political ban board member, Renee Powell, was forced to remove her artwork from a location where it had been displayed for three years. Activists went to the establishments, calling Powell a “white supremacist” and a “racist.” Business owners caved to the mob, removing her artwork.
“They have harassed my family,” Brian Shannon told The Daily Wire. “They’ve done things that are just simply beyond the pale of what should be done in political discourse. They literally tried to break up my marriage. If you’re willing to target a person’s livelihood and try to deprive their children of food and shelter, there’s not a whole lot you’re willing not to do in service of your ideology.”
Turnout for the recall election has been higher than the original election for Brown and Shannon, The Oregonian reports. Early results indicate that the recall is failing, but ballots are still being counted. Final results of the recall election results are still unclear at this time.