Wisconsin school district hangs pride, trans flags for ‘Day of Silence’ activity

(Daily Caller) – A Wisconsin school district hung numerous transgender, sexual orientation and gender identity flags to support students and faculty in the LGBTQ community, according to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Within Sheboygan South High Schools’ library, the “gender fluid flag,” “lesbian pride flag,” “pride flag,” “bisexual flag,” “queer people of color flag,” “refugee nation flag,” “transgender flag” and “asexual flag,” all signed by students and teachers within the community, are displayed, according to an email obtained through a public records request provided to the DCNF. The flags are used in the district’s annual “Day of Silence Activity” where students remain completely silent at school in an effort to “honor and bring awareness to the issues individuals in the LGBTQ community face.”

“Moms for Liberty Wisconsin is getting tips on a regular basis, this is happening everywhere and must be challenged,” Scarlett Johnson, head of Ozaukee, Wisconsin’s Moms For Liberty chapter, told the DCNF. “School Librarians, and the administrators who defend them, cannot be allowed to view themselves as a subversive force in a school. Their goal should not be to ‘disrupt institutions and systems’ and work to instill their values to the detriment of parental values. Wisconsin State Statute is clear, when it comes to controversial topics, parents are in the driver’s seat.”

The Day of Silence is a national student-led demonstration hosted by GLSEN, a group focused on creating “affirming” environments for LGBTQ students, according to the organization website. School districts, teachers and students are encouraged to register for the event, which occurs in April, in order to receive activities and lessons which correspond with the event.

Sheboygan School District has been participating in the national event for 10 years, according to the email obtained by the DCNF.

In January, three books were removed from the high school library following push back over their “disturbing” and “pornographic” nature, according to Sheboygan Press. The books removed included “Gender Queer,” a book that shows a girl masturbating and performing oral sex on another girl, “Fun Home,” a graphic memoir about a girl who discovers she is a lesbian in college, and “Are You My Mother?,” a book about a woman, “unhappily married to a closeted gay man.”

Ahead of the books being removed, in an email Mariya Grabow, the school librarian, advised the assistant superintendent, the high school principal and the schools’ library media specialist, that she would not engage with parents or community members about books they want removed unless they complete a formal request, an email obtained by the DCNF showed.

“Thank you all for supporting our libraries and, especially, our students who are struggling with gender identity,” Grabow wrote. “I wish I had read Gender Queer when it was first published in 2019 (I just purchased it summer of ’22); it could have helped several students who were struggling and had no one to talk to.”

Sheboygan School District, Kevin Formolo, the principal of the high school, and Grabow did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.