Washington Township School District removes rainbow “safe space” signs after parents complain


A New Jersey school district removed rainbow-colored “Safe Zone” signs hanging outside high school classrooms after parents deemed them non-inclusive.

Washington Township Superintendent Peter Turnamian announced the measure at the board of education meeting on Jan. 3, according to NJ.com.

The square signs displayed at Long Valley Middle School resembled the rainbow-striped Pride flag, known to represent the LGBTQ+ community.

They were shown to illustrate that the rooms had been designated as safe areas for the LBTQ+ students.

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However, parents expressed concern that other groups were not represented, in violation of the school’s inclusion policy, The Epoch Times reported.

The signs, which were installed in 2019, will be replaced with signs featuring the school’s panther mascot in an effort to promote respect for all.

The square signs hung at Long Valley Middle School.
High School Long Valley

“Ultimately, the legal counsel’s advice was to let them come down,” Turnamian said at the meeting, adding that the district received “due criticism” about showing favoritism.

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Recently elected school board member John Holly addressed the board in January about the lack of inclusion, saying “School should be a safe place for all children, not just some children.”

In December, a lesbian and genderqueer student at the school expressed her concerns to the board.

The signs are replaced with signs featuring the school’s mascot, a panther.
Washington Live/YouTube

“I can say that the LGBTQ+ community is constantly being bullied and belittled in our school system,” said a student named Rose. “The safe zone rainbow stickers let kids like me know that despite their differences, they are not alone.

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Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, a New Jersey-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group, told the outlet that the removal of the signage “sends a message to LGBTQ youth that they are not fully welcome in the school environment.”