Students walk out after school board bans them from flying the Pride flag

Progress pride flag (new design of rainbow flag) waving in the air with blue sky, LGBTQ community in Netherlands
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High school students in Passaic, New Jersey held a walk out to protest a new school district policy that prohibits them from flying the Pride flag.

After students flew the rainbow flag last year in honor of Pride month, the board of education passed a policy declaring that only the state, school, and American flags could be flown.

Related: Gay teacher fired for giving Pride bracelets to students

About 75 students from the three public high schools in Passaic marched together, chanting “Walk out!” and “Raise our flag!”

Using a bullhorn, student Amari Gawthney reportedly shouted, “We’re not going to stop until we get what we want. We put up the flag last year with no problem. Then this new policy came from out of the blue, and they pushed it under the rug, actually.”

The students also attended Monday night’s school board meeting to protest the policy. One 15-year-old student, Jared Guevara, told the board he’d “like to see you all thrown out of office.”

Some board members have indicated support for the students or at least a willingness to keep talking about the policy, but it’s unclear whether change will come or not.

Peter T. Rosario, a former board trustee, thinks the ban is a no brainer.

“Your job is not to hurt the kids, first and foremost,” he said. “There are hard decisions to make [on the board]. This is not one of them. Rescind the policy.”

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