Connetquot School District Faces A Lawsuit

Go Thunderbirds! Living on Long Island, a relatively small overpopulated part of New York State, it’s common to hear news about different towns, especially the ones closest to you. Personally, I am aware of new information from Kings Park, Commack, Hauppauge, and even the Half Hollow Hills on a daily basis. One school I hadn’t heard much about was Connetquot, not until recently where the school district was sued by LGBT Network for taking down a Progress Pride Flag. So, what actually happened? 

Sarah Ecke—Connetquot math teacher and girls basketball coach—hung up a Progress Pride Flag in her classroom and eventually met with the administration after numerous complaints about the flag making “students uncomfortable.” According to the district, Ecke refused to take down the flag after being presented with other options, so the district implemented a policy only the American flag, state flag and curriculum-based flags could be displayed in classrooms. Connetquot defended its decision during a board meeting, stating that they wanted their school to feel like a “welcoming place for all” as well as the fact that they offered to let Ecke leave her flags up during her overseeing of the school-run Gender and Sexualities Alliances Club, however Ecke refused. 

Governor Kathy Hochul is now investigating this situation after being alerted by the LGBT Network of Long Island. Hochul’s office spoke to Newsday in a statement released prior to October 14, stating, “Governor Hochul is committed to protecting the human rights of New Yorkers, and has directed the Division of Human Rights to investigate potential violations of Human Rights Law in this matter, consistent with the agency’s mandate.” For now, the case is still being investigated and processed by New York State as well as the Connetquot School District. 

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