Election 2024

GOP campaign staffer freaks out after seeing a “socialist” rainbow flag in a school

A rainbow flag
Photo: Shutterstock

“Charlotte elementary school has THIS hanging in its hallway,” Sloan Rachmuth, spokesperson for Michele Morrow, the Republican party candidate for North Carolina superintendent of public instruction, posted to X last week. She included a picture of a Progress Pride flag hanging on a nondescript office wall.

“Yet another example of the socialist indoctrination camps @MicheleMorrowNC talks about.”

She was referring to a flag that was hanging in an administrative hallway at Crown Point Elementary School in Matthews, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte, according to the Charlotte Observer. Students don’t regularly pass it, and some parents with children in the school complained that the picture was taken without context to gin up controversy.

Rachmuth, though, insists that the flag is something more diabolical than a colorful piece of cloth intended to show that all people – including LGBTQ+ people – are welcome. She and Mecklenburg County Moms for Liberty Chair Brooke Weiss claim that the flag is proof that teachers are trying to defy the state’s Don’t Say Gay law. Passed last year, S.B. 49 bans instruction on “gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality” in kindergarten through fourth grade.

Rachmuth – whose candidate, Morrow, supports the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory – said that the flag was part of a deliberate conspiracy to violate state law so that teachers could talk to kids about LGBTQ+ issues.

“Moms for Liberty lobbied for the passage of the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which says that instruction on gender identity and sexuality cannot be taught or discussed in kindergarten through fourth grade; however, educators are allowed to respond to a child’s question,” she said in a statement to the Charlotte Observer. “That is why that flag is on the wall.”

A Charlotte Observer reporter tried to get into contact with Rachmuth to ask questions, but she blocked them on social media.

Rachmuth tried to get her followers on social media to contact the school district about the flag and said that her candidate, Morrow, would host a town hall event in Matthews to bring attention to the fact that there was a rainbow flag in an administrative hallway there.

But parents who actually live in the school district don’t seem to be on board with Rachmuth’s crusade against the flag. They said that the flag isn’t a form of instruction since it’s a symbol of inclusion.

“It’s not an area that students are getting instruction in,” said Laura Casey, whose daughter goes to the school. “Existence isn’t indoctrination. For the people that need to feel affirmed by it in an administrative place, it lets them know they’re welcome.”

“From what I’ve seen… the people who are angry about it are not members of our community.”

“All I can gather is it’s some sort of stunt to get an ultra-conservative state-level candidate some attention,” said Town of Matthews Commissioner Renee Garner, who added that she hasn’t heard anything about the flag from people in the town.

Morrow, who is a prominent home school advocate in the state, has a history of extreme rhetoric, including calling for the executions of President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

She even once attacked actor Jim Carrey, saying he was “likely searching for adrenochrome.” The QAnon conspiracy theory says that there is a secret, international cabal of Satanic pedophiles made up of powerful Democratic and Hollywood figures. In some versions of the conspiracy theory, the cabal is harvesting adrenochrome, a psychoactive drug that they claim is taken from tortured and murdered children after they are sacrificed to Satan.

She insists that her statements were “taken out of context” and were used by “the dysfunctional media” for “gotcha moments.”

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