Mesa Public Schools rejects defacto pride flag ban, adopts ban on "partisan" books; possible censorship of student wardrobe on table

Council members considered a proposal February 27th to effectively ban the display of LGBTQ+ pride flags at their schools, resulting in a dump of heated “culture war” talking points and religious denigrations of transgender people.

Nationally, teachers have argued that rainbow flags in classrooms increase a sense of safety for LGBTQ+ students, who are often the topics of bullying.

This proposal was packaged with an agenda item also requiring all classrooms to display American flags. The American flag proposal passed 4-1 (with Rachel Walden dissenting), but the flag ban aspects were taken out after a majority of board members opposed it.

The council also debated a library book ban of “all books, publications and papers of a sectarian, partisan or denominational character, except where permitted by law” (except in cases of religious studies classes). This would effectively be useful for anyone in administration looking to censor books that do not conform to a white Christian nationalist viewpoint. The proposal passed 4-1, with Rachel Walden again dissenting.

On March 12th, the board held a first reading of draft policy that would prohibit the wearing of clothing that promoted “pornography” and “hate speech,” with concerns being raised over the loose definition of these terms. (These terms are sometimes misused to censor forms of legitimate expression by LGBTQ+ people, Black people, and other minority groups.)

Other revisions touched on students’ rights to wear tribal and religious attire and invoking the 1st amendment in reference to students’ free speech rights.

No action were yet taken; concerned constituents are advised to contact board members below before the draft policies come up for a second reading.

Contact Board Members:

RSVP for Secular Day at the Capitol 4/11/24

Day at the Capitol is a chance for secular Arizonans from all over the state to meet, learn about issues, and make our voices heard at Arizona’s legislature. Save the date for a dynamic and inclusive event with engaging discussions, presentations, and community-building activities, which fosters a space for diverse perspectives and secular values.

This is a free event with lunch included for all those who RSVP.. 


Additional news and action opportunities

  • The House is set to vote on a Republican bill (SCR1021) April 18th that would have voters decide whether people convicted of sex trafficking should receive mandatory life sentences with no parole. (Contact your Representatives to comment.)
  • Maricopa has need for poll workers (learn more)
  • Deer Valley Unified School District and Scottsdale Unified School District need candidates for office      

Secular AZ
PO Box 47756  | Phoenix, Arizona 85068
6023804810 |

Follow Us

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences