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A few words about Newberg

Taking pictures of my kids every fall on the first day of school was one of the parenting rituals I cherished as a mom. I could always trust they would be safe and supported at their public schools in Beaverton. That's what every student needs and deserves.

But students in Newberg, Oregon face a completely different reality this fall because of the misguided actions of a few extreme school board members. It's alarming. These board members have abandoned their duty to create a safe learning environment and have instead singled out Black and LGBTQ identities as "political" and banned the symbols that help students identify supportive teachers and staff. Rather than working to address racism and homophobia in schools, these adults are stifling student voices and free speech. LGBTQ students, Black students, and every student in Newberg schools deserves better.

Tragically, school boards across the country are taking cues from Newberg. Conservative activists are trying to divide our communities with made-up culture wars. They see these bans as a way to score political points, when in fact they put vulnerable students in harm's way.

We must do better for our students. Since the Civil Rights era, the federal role in education has been about equity, making sure that all students can safely access a quality education no matter their race, gender, or any other factor. As a leader on education issues in Congress, I will do everything in my power to stand up for students and make sure our public schools are safe and welcoming to all.

To the students, parents, and teachers in Newberg who are speaking out against this injustice: you matter. To me, to our community, and to our nation.

Thank you for standing with me and with students,

Suzanne Bonamici

Posted on October 2, 2021.

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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