NEWBERG, OR – An Oregon teacher has taken down the American flag in her classroom because she said it represents “violence and menace and intolerance.”

Gail Grobey, an English teacher at Newberg High School, opposed the school board’s recent ban on gay pride and Black Lives Matter flags in classrooms.

“We are certainly going to become very active in terms of supporting the community coalition that has formed against these actions by the board,” Grobey told The Newberg Graphic.

“We want to be really excited about the kids coming in,” she continued, “and there is already this ubiquitous apprehension around the risks of COVID. You throw in this other thing where Big Brother wants to control what we support or what we talk about. Are we going to cancel government classes? That is deeply political. What does civics mean? We can’t have civil discourse on anything under this policy language, and it’s frankly ridiculous.”

Grobey made bold statements in that article against the American flag and in explaining why she would not allow it in her classroom.

“I’ll say this personally,” she said. “I’ve spent 23 years in this district and you can’t tell me what to do. I know my kids, and I know what’s best for them and what to do to help them feel comfortable. I took the American flag down in my classroom because that’s the most political symbol there is.

“When I see Trevor DeHart sitting there at those board meetings with that giant American flag behind him, it’s terrifying. That symbol doesn’t stand for freedom or justice or equality anymore. It stands for violence and menace and intolerance, and I will not fly that in my room.”

Grobey has already stated that she is not going to comply with the ban against BLM and pride flags. She said, “We are certainly going to become very active in terms of supporting the community coalition that has formed against these actions by the board. This is their fight almost more than it’s ours, and we are ready to support them. There are groups out there in the community who have a stake in this as parents and community members of varying backgrounds.”

Newberg High School Principal Tami Erion sent a letter to the community saying, “As a community, we continue to grapple with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Newberg High School is committed to ensuring that ALL students are afforded a safe learning environment by prohibiting harassment based upon gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion or disability.”

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