Parent sues after Denver school won’t allow this flag in his kids’ classroom

A parent has sued Denver Public Schools, saying its policy concerning the display of Pride flags discriminates against his heterosexual third-graders.

Nathan Feldman on Nov. 10 filed the federal suit in the U.S. District of Colorado that states the district’s policy supporting LGBTQ+ students is “not inclusive of all students” — specifically, not of his 8-year-old twins, who are described as “heterosexual, Caucasian, and/or binary/’cisgender.’”

The lawsuit follows Feldman’s unsuccessful attempts to have what he described as a “straight pride” flag displayed in his children’s classrooms at the K-8 Slavens School.

Feldman first raised his concerns in fall of 2022, after he attended a school event and saw “Progress Pride” flags — the rainbow flag with additional chevrons of color representing greater inclusivity.

According to the lawsuit, he asked teachers to display in his children’s classrooms a flag he described as a “straight pride” flag, with black and white stripes and the linked symbols for male and female gender. The teachers reportedly did not respond to his request.

The lawsuit includes a photo of an art classroom’s door. On its window are a sign with the room number and teacher’s name, a few small drawings or cartoons, and a paper Progress Pride flag of perhaps 5 by 7 inches.

“Each day at school, (Feldman’s children) are exposed to dozens, if not hundreds, of ‘Progress Pride Flags’ that DPS officials have strung throughout the Slavens School classrooms and halls as a means of expressing and promoting DPS’ favored viewpoint on the topic,” the lawsuit states. “Due to the fact that Plaintiffs’ views differ, Plaintiffs simply requested to have their views expressed, as well. But DPS has refused.”

Feldman said Principal Kurt Siebold responded to his follow-up email and said district policy allows teachers to display a rainbow flag or any other sign of support for LGBTQ+ students but “doesn’t allow for other flags.”

Feldman went back and forth with DPS administrators and faculty, saying the display of the pride flags and alleged prohibition of other flags violates the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.