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As school districts around the country have become the latest battleground for the right wing, with parents being told that Democrats are all trying to make their kids trans, a small school district in the East Bay has become the latest to see signs of that fake to see panic.

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You may have heard about the Temecula school board trying to ban a textbook and outing Harvey Milk as a pedophile, or the Chino Valley school district fighting to establish a policy of students “coming out” to their parents who try to use their pronouns. changing or gender to wear non-conforming clothes. Well, sometimes things start smaller, and in the small East Bay town of Sunol, it’s started with a ban on all flags that aren’t the state flag or the American flag.

ABC 7 reports it was “chaos” at the Sunol Glen Unified School District board meeting Tuesday night, after opposing factions of parents and protesters came out to wage the culture war in microcosm. The board ended up kicking the audience of 150 people at the meeting and a vote in private on the flag issue, voting 2-1 in favor of the new policy, which will effectively ban the flying of the Pride flag at school terrain

“For many children, the only safe and welcoming and affirming place they have is their school,” said Austin Bruckner-Carrillo of Castro Valley Pride, during the public comment portion of the meeting, per ABC 7. “And if we school board members who don’t recognize that and actively push policies against it, it hurts gay children, it hurts gay families.”

As KTVU reports, Superintendent and school principal Molleen Barnes, who made the decision to fly a Progress Pride flag at the school in June, defended the decision saying, “We chose to fly the inclusivity flag so that the students from the LGBTQ-plus community would know that we are a place of equality and inclusivity.”

“The symbol of the flag reinforces that message,” Barnes added. “Tonight, with this resolution, our board members have been clear where they stand.”

Sunol Glen School has only 271 students, many of them from outside the unincorporated town of Sunol, which has only 900 residents. As the Chronicle reports, while two of the three elected school board members may share the conservative views of some residents, many parents of students at the school are frustrated because they don’t even have a say in school board elections.

Board President Ryan Jergensen and board member Linda Hurley supported the resolution, while board member Ted Romo opposed it. Romo openly argued with Jergensen during the meeting, as Bay Area News Group reports, accusing Jergensen of “censorship.”

“If a school starts to endorse one particular point of view, that can be division,” said Jergensen, per the Chronicle. “The school must be inclusive of all. Individual views are irrelevant. I prefer to look more for what unites us as a school.”

The rally drew several right-wing counter-protesters with large American and Christian flags who likely didn’t have children in the school district, in another sign that this vote had become a proxy war for larger issues.

“This about them wanting to harm a group of a group that they don’t approve of,” said Joel Souza, a Fremont-based parent of children at Sunol Glen and the filmmaker behind Rest. “Another shot in the culture war,” he added.

Souza also spoke to the Chronicle, saying, “Someone said yesterday that we are a canary in the coal mine in the Bay Area because it seems so strange that it would happen here. But how many canaries and how many coal mines do we need at this point? This is happening right under our noses.”

Sunol is just the latest conservative pocket of otherwise liberal California where a school district is being used for proxy fights over LGBTQ issues — after several years in which parents have been told by Fox News and others that the queers and libs are “coming for your kids . “

Speaking from that place of panic, Moraga-based teacher Lisa Disbrow, a member of the group Informed Parents of Contra Costa County, said at Tuesday’s meeting, per KTVU, “They’ve crossed the line from academics to values, beliefs , opinions, politics and sex. It’s like giving a credit card, a sexual credit card to students to engage in sexual behavior, identities, when they’re still underage.”

Yet, at least in California, these efforts to feed the panic are usually tamped down. Governor Gavin Newsom threatened to withhold $1.5 million in state funds from the Temecula school district that made the threats about the textbook that mentions Harvey Milk, and they backfired. And just this morning, as the Associated Press reports, a San Bernardino County judge halted a newly instituted policy in the Chino Valley Unified School District to notify parents of children who try to change their gender expression or pronouns — in response to a lawsuit by state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is now suing the district.

Related: Sierra Foothills Town Nevada City Cancels Pride Over Safety Concerns, Mistrust of Police

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