CUSD Board of Trustees postpones decision to display the Pride flag


Courtesy of Katrina Waidelich

On May 25, Carlsbad community members gathered outside the District Office to show support for displaying the Pride flag.

Calliandra Moody, Editor in Chief

On May 25, a Special CUSD Board Meeting was held to determine whether the LGBTQ+ flag will be flown at the District Office for Pride month, beginning June 1. The meeting took place shortly after Carlsbad City Council declined the motion to display the LGBTQ+ flag at City Hall on May 23. 

Members of the Carlsbad community assembled at the CUSD District Office to express their support of Agenda Item 3.2, the flag request. CHS junior Ash Bering voiced their perspective on the motion.

“The flag will do nothing but help show support for queer kids of Carlsbad,” Bering said. “It will show us that you hear us, respect us, you see us and you love us. With all of the hate and oppression going on throughout this country, I honestly don’t feel safe here.”

For many students, school is a sanctuary where they can truly express who they are, including CHS senior class president Ava Grosely. 

“School became my home, and when I needed a community to accept me for my authentic self, I was greeted with love,” Grosely said. “Agenda item [3.2] serves as a message to all students that they have a safe place on campus.”

CHS teacher and GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) advisor Katrina Waidelich expressed her frustration at the lack of action taken by the district to demonstrate acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. 

“[These students] shouldn’t have to tell their stories of pain,” Waidelich said. “They shouldn’t have to out themselves to their entire community to simply ask for one piece of fabric.”

After hearing comments made by the public, Trustee Ray Pearson put forth a motion to postpone making the decision to fly the Pride flag until summer. Trustees Gretchen Vurbeff and Elisa Williamson seconded Pearson’s motion, while Trustees Kathy Rallings and Michele Tsutagawa Ward opposed it. 

The motion states, “As the board will agendize the discussion at a meeting in the summer about the potential creation of a policy and process to address requests for displaying flags. Mr. Pearson made the motion to delay any decision about flying flags until after the board has that discussion.”

As soon as the motion was passed, the room erupted in a single chant, “Shame.” 

“It is about creating an inclusive society where diversity is celebrated and valued,” Sage Creek senior Kayley Teagle said. “LGBTQ+ individuals have always existed, and will never be pushed aside or silenced. I will never give up.”