A divided Anne Arundel County school board on Wednesday rejected a controversial proposal that would have restricted what flags could be displayed on school property — a measure that critics said was written to ban flags such as the rainbow Pride flag.
The board voted 4 to 3 not to adopt the proposed policy, with one board member abstaining.
The proposed flag policy has been a point of contention since it was introduced by board member Corine Frank, a county GOP official who worked with the board’s legislative and policy office to draft the measure. It then went to the board’s policy committee, which vetted it and advanced it to the full board, said Bob Mosier, a spokesman for the county schools. He added that the policy committee in Anne Arundel does not approve policies.
Frank was joined by board members Michelle Corkadel and Melissa Ellis in supporting the proposed policy. Voting against it were board president Joanna Bache Tobin, board members Dana Schallheim and Robert Silkworth and student representative Eric Lin. Board member Gloria Dent abstained.
During a meeting in May, Frank said that she was the board member who “wanted to see this policy created” and that she was “very proud of that.”
Frank said she sought out a new policy after being approached by a number of constituents with “concerns” about flags in schools.
She noted that some students in the beginning of the school year wanted to have a “red, white, and blue day” and were told they couldn’t have one. She said that the approach to flags has been “inconsistent.”
Frank, a Pasadena resident who was appointed executive director of the Maryland Republican Party in 2019, has served on the board since December 2020.
Democrats now control the top offices in Anne Arundel County, but it is considered a purple county where voters elect Democrats and Republicans.
The draft policy would have encouraged the display of the Maryland state, Anne Arundel County and city of Annapolis flags, in addition to the American flag that is flown, but limited the showing of other flags to occasions with a bona fide educational purpose. The proposed policy would have designated a school principal or the principal’s designee to determine what constitutes a bona fide educational purpose for the display of a flag.
YOu could read more of this Baltimore Banner article here.