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Bisexual Michigan teacher stands up for Pride, resigns

A Michigan teacher refuses to let administration destroy his Pride! 

A middle school Physical Education and Health teacher in Michigan, who identifies as bisexual, resigned from the school where he was teaching earlier this month after he and other teachers were told by school administration to take down their Pride flags, according to The Advocate.

The administrators at Three Rivers Community Schools in Three Rivers, Michigan told teachers that they had to remove the Pride flags hanging in their classrooms due to an “external challenge” about the flags at the district offices, according to TV station WOOD.

Russell Ball, the former Three Rivers teacher of almost 11 years, took to TikTok to explain his resignation. He made it clear that he refused to remove his flag and resigned as a result of being told he had to take it down. 

“I was not going to be an active participant in the suppression and oppression of an already marginalized group that I’m part of,” Ball said in the video, also explaining that his decision was also the result of the extensive teacher burnout that he has been experiencing while teaching at the school. 

“The Pride flag stands for love, inclusion, and equality — something that should be present in every classroom across the country. By removing it, I feel like I am being told that I am invalidated, that I don’t belong, and that’s not a message I want to send to myself or any of my students.”

He adds: “The Pride flag is not a political statement. It’s a human rights statement. We’re all human. We should all have the same rights, but we don’t.”

Three Rivers’ interim superintendent and curriculum director, Nikki Nash, told MLive in a statement: “This is an ongoing situation. We continue to work with the district’s legal firm and board of education to ensure we are providing a safe learning environment for all students.”

Ball said that no one from the school administrators has since reached out to him. Nash has stated that there will be further discussion about the district’s flag policy at the next school board meeting, which is scheduled for December 6.

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