Teacher’s Pro-Police Flag Deemed ‘Disruption’ and ‘Too Political’ While Other Teachers Allowed to Display Pro-LBGT and BLM Materials

A pro-police “Thin Blue Line Flag” was deemed “a disruption in the classroom” and “too political” by a school in Washington State. The school forced the teacher to remove it. The teacher displayed the flag with pictures supporting her brother, Chris Sutherland, a police officer in the community. 

Sutherland, who served as a Marysville Police officer and a resource officer during the city’s tragic High School shooting, described other kinds of displays that were permitted in the school, including a pro-LBGT flag and Black Lives Matter materials. It is unclear why the “Thin Blue Line” flag had been singled out. 

Speaking recently on the Jason Rantz show, Sutherland said the whole situation has left a “lasting impression” on his sister. “It’s frustrating because I know how much she cares and how much this means to her,” he said. “For her to have to go through that…it’s just not fair.”

Pictures of Sutherland were pinned to a bulletin board and surrounded the flag, showing support for his service in protecting their community. The teacher said that the administration informed her that the flag “makes kids and staff feel unsafe.” The demand was served to the teacher in a letter of clarification regarding conduct for teachers, and it asserted that if she did not take the flag down, the school could take further disciplinary action.

The middle school teacher who displayed the flag has pulled it from her classroom but said she feels that there has been no attempt to understand who she is or the story behind her display. She feels “hopeful for the remainder of the school year” and has forgiven those who forced her to take the flag down. While it remains to be seen whether or not the teacher will be able to display the flag in her classroom ever again, she plans to continue fighting to support law enforcement and her brother without fear of termination.