After a 4-3 vote on Tuesday, the Newberg Public Schools board has decided to prohibit the use of any type of political signage in their schools. This includes LGBT Pride and Black Lives Matter or BLM flags, clothing items, and signs. The school board is yet to decide what counts as "political," but mentions of Pride flags and BLM messages were frequently mentioned during the meeting.

Fox News reported that the vote was tallied during a virtual meeting held by the Newberg school district officials, during which they decided on the new rules that would affect approximately 5,000 children. School Board Director Brian Shannon argued, "Main goal of this is to get political symbols and divisive symbols out of our schools so we can focus on the already difficult task of educating our students in the core subjects."

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon school board established a three-member policy that will determine what constitutes "political." Supporters of the board's vote condemned the signs, saying that they were "divisive" and did not make people feel safe. Meanwhile, supporters of such LGBT Pride and BLM flags, among other political messages, felt that the materials made them feel seen and helped those students who were being bullied.

The Oregon school board pushed back discussions and votes on two other similar topics, including drafting "replacement language" on their new anti-racism policy and rescinding its "Every Student Belongs" policy. In the event that the "Every Student Belongs" policy will be taken back, the district will be in violation of state standards.

Oregon school board chair Dave Brown, who said he was not racist, stressed that there were a lot of students who are impacted by such political messages. Admitting to receiving more than 500 emails before Tuesday's meeting, he said that it was the school board's responsibility to make decisions that would impact every student at Newberg High School and "not just the kids that are represented in just one group - it has to be all kids."

Joshua Reid, a Newberg schools counselor, argued against the ban on flying LGBT Pride and BLM flags, among others, saying that the symbols help "to communicate love and support and affirmation." He said that students "don't see propaganda or indoctrination or any ideology. They see a glimmer of hope that there can still be safe places and safe people in their schools."

A teacher by the name of Stacey Dalton said that LGBT Pride and BLM flags are "messages of love and support" for those students who feel like they are not seen on campus. She went on to argue that white students, who are the majority in these schools, are consistently validated by the curriculum at their districts and "do not need extra messages of support."

NBC News reported that board member Brandy Penner argued that the top five performing schools in the state featured diversity statements and diversity coordinators, while the Oregon school board appeared to be regressing. He said, "This feels so draconian...this feels so anti-everything. Anti-free speech, anti-free expression, anti-safety."

The school board which voted on the matter included new members who agreed to the ban. One Newberg parent, Brandon Casey, indicated that the agenda during the meeting which led to the decision comes as a direct result of the May 2021 elections.

"We voted for this school board to make sure BLM signs are not in classrooms," Casey said.