Controversial ban on political symbols in Newberg schools repealed

The Newberg School District has officially rescinded its ban on political symbols that was at the center of heated debate.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:18 AM PST
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NEWBERG, Ore. (KPTV) - Newberg Public Schools has officially rescinded its ban on political symbols that was at the center of heated debate.

Back in September 2021, the school board approved a policy that banned employees from displaying political signage on school grounds. The school board said that ban applied to things like Pride flags and Black Lives Matter signs.

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A number of people protested the ban, and the school board eventually voted to fire its superintendent, Joe Morlock, which led to even more protests and a board member resigning.

There was a public vote to recall two board members behind the policy that failed. The policy was also challenged in court.

The ACLU won a lawsuit against the school district in September, and the Newberg Education Association settled another suit in December. It was that settlement that led to this moment at the Newberg School Board meeting last week.

“With that policy, this went before the court system here in the state and so we had the opportunity whether we wanted to amend policy as a board or whether we wanted to rescinding it, and so the recommendation before you is that we rescind the policy outright,” one of the board members said.

After that, there was no real discussion or debate. The board voted 7-0 to get rid of that policy.

The Newberg Education Association posted on Facebook in December about the settlement of their lawsuit and says part of the settlement will see the NEA reimbursed for much of their legal fees.

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The NEA called the settlement bittersweet and that if the school board had rescinded the policy last year, they could have saved a lot of time and taxpayers money.