Portland-area school district caves after teacher refuses to remove LGBTQ+, Palestinian flag murals from classroom

Hailey DeMarre, of Portland, Oregon, said: "Beaverton, you cannot take the voices of my students away by painting over it."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A Portland-area math teacher launched a pressure campaign against the Beaverton School District in an attempt to prevent the removal of a Palestinian and Pride progress flag that she claims her students had painted on the walls of her classroom. Ultimately, the school acquiesced to her demands, at least for now, with a postponement of the repainting. 

Hailey DeMarre, of Portland, Oregon, was reportedly informed by the school district that the paintings went against official policy and therefore she retaliated by launching a pressure campaign on Instagram, which resulted in the district postponing the removal of the flags.

However, DeMarre says that she has since been "interrogated" by her administration and encouraged her followers to keep up the pressure.

The pressure campaign was launched on Nov. 6 when DeMarre wrote on Instagram: "I am devastated that the free speech on my wall by students which include a Pride flag and a Palestinian flag have been targeted as 'not following protocol.' It wasn't until the Palestinian flag was drawn that my admin team had questions."

"Beaverton, you cannot take the voices of my students away by painting over it. Repainting is scheduled for Wednesday. Tell Beaverton leaders how you feel," she said.

DeMarre provided an update and claimed that the school district had decided to postpone the repainting of the "beautiful murals" but insisted that the pressure needed to continue, claiming that the Beaverton School District had launched an investigation into the paintings.

"UPDATE: THEY HAVE POSTPONED THE REPAINTING!! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of you who contacted BSD, shared this post, and supported the effort to keep these beautiful murals from being erased! The fight isn't over, and more information is being collected research is being done by BSD. I spoke with administrators today who were unclear about the flag policy and was told that I would be updated as they make the determination regarding whether these flags can remain!," she wrote on Instagram.

"PLEASE continue to contact BSD to keep the pressure up! We want to prevent these staff & student expressions of free speech up as long as our buildings stand!" she added.

As the investigation continued, DeMarre issued an additional update and claimed that she came under significant "interrogation" regarding the paintings, and for this, she expressed outrage and encouraged further harassment.

"My students asked to paint some of these murals. Including the Palestinian flag. My admin asked me questions today about which murals were painted my students, in what I can only describe as interrogation-style. He told me he would be asking these questions about every mural in the school. Which students specifically? What EXACTLY did they paint, and on what days? Etc etc. Now HR is suggesting that the murals are political and that I can't express my political opinion," she wrote.

"1. Having a flag on my wall that represents indigenous people, as Indigenous Peoples Club advisor, seems appropriate and not political in the least. Acknowledging that a group of people exist? Shouldn't be controversial. 2. My students painted the Palestinian flag. I helped tape at their request. Even if it *is* somehow political to acknowledge the existence of Palestine, my students ARE allowed to express their beliefs. 3. We have dozens of flags in the BHS cafeteria that represent the homelands and cultures of our diverse student body. If BHS is willing to display these on campus, why would it suddenly be inappropriate to display them in a classroom?" she said.

"PLEASE continue to contact BSD leadership and tell them how inappropriate it would be to erase the flag that represents many staff and students in BSD. Acknowledging Palestine is NOT political. And erasing this flag would make a HORRIBLE statement," DeMarre added.

The education system has come under fire in the United States since Palestine's Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Faculty and students have made controversial anti-Israel statements, and some teachers and student groups have even expressed support for Hamas. The terror group reportedly slaughtered around 1,400 men, women, and children in the most brutal massacre of Jews since 1973.

The Post Millennial reached out to the Beaverton School District for comment.
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