A photo of Moxxie Childs sitting on a table holding a transgender pride flag as students surround him to get their own flags.
Moxxie Childs has spend the last week passing out pride flags at Great Oak High School after the Temecula Valley Unified School District Board adopted a policy effectively banning them in classrooms. (Courtesy of Moxxie Childs)

Moxxie Childs, a junior at Great Oaks High School, has passed out more than 500 pride flags in the week since the Temecula Valley Unified School District board adopted a new policy effectively banning them in classrooms.

“For the most part, I’m really happy with how many people have taken flags,” he said.

Childs said the idea came to him after a policy that only allows the display of the United States and California flags, and others deemed educationally relevant by school administrators, in the classroom was adopted.

“Last [Tuesday], they passed the policy banning the display of any flag beside the American or state flag, which, if that is the whole policy, is a reasonable policy,” Childs said. “But I watched the stream of the school board meeting, and every single person who went up to talk for the policy was talking about pride flags when they were talking about why they think it should be banned. So, to me, it felt like one of those policies that was just a way to target one specific thing.”

The policy was adopted despite a number of concerns brought up by teachers, parents, board members and Interim Superintendent Kimberly Velez about how the policy would be implemented.

“I’m kind of torn here, not because I disagree with any of the foundation behind the additions to this policy,” Board member Danny Gonzalez said at last week’s meeting. “We need to take some lessons learned though, and we’ve done the best work when we’ve taken a step back and run this through committee and done the work on it to understand exactly what we’re writing in there, how we’re going to roll that out, and I honestly think that the administration needs some time with us to help figure out that specific language and help us to do it properly. 

“I don’t want to drag my feet on anything, but I see this as being potentially problematic if we don’t do it the right way, and we don’t need a lack of buy in from our teachers and staff knowing that they didn’t have a chance to kind of weigh in on the unintended consequences of a policy,” he continued.

The policy was ultimately adopted on a 3-2 vote with board members Allison Barclay and Steven Schwartz voting against it.

Related: Experts Say Mandatory Parental Notification Policies Are Harmful To Trans, Nonbinary Youth

Those supporting the policy included Dan Brown, who spoke about the need for teachers to focus solely on the basics of education.

“Why is it so hard to understand the concern over flags or symbols that represent behaviors that threaten family social norms,” he said. “Therefore, any flag that stands for hedonism, sexual deviancy, socialism, communism or anti-religious bigotry should not be allowed to be displayed in the classroom on a constant basis.”

Those speaking against the policy, like teacher Jennee Scharf, said the policy was a way for the board to further marginalize LGBTQ+ students in the classroom.

“You are the ones who brought these culture wars to our schools and who are intentionally scaring students and hoping they will go back into the closet,” she said. “But I’m here to tell you that those closet doors have been blown off no matter what illegal and unpatriotic policies you enact.”

Last month, the board adopted a controversial parental notification policy that requires the district to notify parents or guardians if a student is transgender or nonbinary, a policy that Childs said has already caused harm to his friends.

“They just send an email or a phone call home to your parents, and then you go home, and they don’t even tell you sometimes if they’ve sent that email or phone call, they’ll just send it home,” he said. “And like I have friends who have gotten in trouble already from this policy.”

Since the parental notification policy was adopted, Childs has been working with other students to put together a walkout in protest of the board’s actions.

“It’s just kind of my friend group in general, because a lot of my friends are LGBT, like me, or they have similar views that these policies suck,” he said. “Everyone I’ve told about it seems interested, and I think we have about maybe five or so people who are going to speak, including me.”

The walkout is scheduled for Friday during the school’s regularly scheduled intervention period. More information about the walkout can be found here on Childs’ TikTok account.

Those who want to support Childs’ effort can do so by purchasing items from his Amazon wish list or by donating to his GoFundMe so he can purchase additional flags. 

TN News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet providing Riverside County with high-quality journalism free of charge. We’re able to do this because of the generous donations of supporters like you!

Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.

One reply on “TVUSD Student Hands Out Hundreds Of Pride Flags After New Board Policy Bans Them In Classrooms”

Comments are closed.