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Delano HS teachers can keep the rainbow-colored posters up, schools head says

Some people had complained about the posters being up.

The rainbow-colored signs that include words like "accepting" and "safe space" are clearly not meant to exclude anyway – so Delano High School teachers can keep them up if they like.

That's the message from Delano School District Superintendent Matthew Schoen, who published a Facebook post Wednesday morning laying out where the district stands after this week's kerfuffle.

The posters in questions are rectangular, with six colors of the rainbow shown. Each color has a word or term associated with it: Diverse, inclusive, accepting, welcoming, safe space, for everyone.

Here's a Star Tribune tweet with a photo.

So what was the problem?

The Star Tribune has been chronicling the case, and WCCO has a story too – long story short, some parents recently complained the signs are too focused on LGBTQ issues. The district first said the signs might be in violation of a contract so they should be taken down, then on Tuesday reversed course.

And now we've got Schoen explaining their reasoning: that it's "very clear that the signs are not meant to be exclusive, but rather to promote inclusivity for students, staff, and community members."

"Delano Public Schools has been taking steps over the past several years to address the concept of diversity and inclusion," the message reads. "We will continue to work diligently to provide an environment that is non-discriminatory for all students, staff and community members."

He also said the district never told any teacher to remove the sign, and from here on out, it'll be up to each educator whether they want to post the sign, based on "their own professional judgment."

Part of a broader conversation

Schoen said addressing these difficult issues will require open discussions, but said those conversations need to continue and be done "in a unified and dignified manner with respect for all."

Schoen said the district has been working with a group called Delano United – it's an organization (recently formed, by the looks of it) that says it's "working to make Delano more welcoming for all people and combat discrimination of any type in our community."

You might remember one recent, high-profile case from the city. A black family's dream home was tagged with racist imagery and the phrase "get out" just a few months after they moved in. The community held a vigil days later to demonstrate that hate and racism won't be tolerated in the community.

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