This week read about The Newberg School Board in Oregon banning LGBT and BLM symbols, and a judge in Virginia finding a man not guilty for shouting slurs at a gay couple.
School Board Banned LGBT Symbols; Fires Superintendent
The Newberg School Board in Salem, Oregon, previously banned teachers and student organizations from displaying “political” imagery such as Pride or BLM posters, flags, and shirts.
The board voted to remove Superintendent Joe Morelock during a Zoom meeting on Nov. 9, according to PBS. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that while the members that voted to remove him have not publicly commented on their reasoning, Morelock said he has tried to enforce the school boards ban on “political” imagery but thinks that others may be “frustrated” that the policy wasn’t being enforced quickly enough.
Locals have been critical of the school board and their conservative majority.
The teachers union said that Morelock’s firing was “yet another example of a board majority bringing instability to our schools.” The superintendent’s advisory cabinet said they were “shocked and dismayed that the board would take this disruptive action in the middle of the school year.”
The Newberg Education Association union has filed a lawsuit against the school board for its policy on political imagery.
Judge Finds Man Who Shouted Slurs at Gay Couple Not Guilty
The July incident was captured on a Ring doorbell camera.
On Nov. 8, Judge Thomas Kelley Jr. ruled that 57-year-old Thomas Wood was not guilty on his misdemeanor simple assault charge.
Police and prosecutors had initially listed the incident as a hate crime, the Washington Blade reported. There were two video and audio recordings of Wood repeatedly shouting anti-gay slurs at his neighbors, Kyle Metz and his husband, Leo Liu Metz.
Judge Kelley said the recordings did not demonstrate that Wood had physically assaulted or committed simple assault against either of the men under Virginia law.
The lead prosecutor, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Cahoon, argued that Wood raised and swung his arms over the fence that separated the two parties’ homes and that if the Metz couple had not moved from the fence, they would have been struck by Wood.
For the same incident, Judge Kelley found Wood guilty of disorderly conduct.
With regard to the hate crime charge, Wood’s attorney argued that the dispute was only over a parking spot; Judge Kelly disagreed.
“There is nothing that is said about parking,” Kelley said, referring to the video that shows Wood shouting anti-gay insults.