A Denver father is suing his children's school after staff allegedly refused to let him display a straight pride flag alongside Progress Pride flags outside classrooms.
A Colorado father is suing the state's largest school district, claiming staff refused to let him display a "straight pride" flag alongside the Progress Pride flags on view throughout his children's Denver school.
Nathan Feldman argues his children are being barred from exercising their freedom of speech in a case of viewpoint discrimination.
Feldman's lawyer, Michael Yoder, blamed equity policies like Denver's for "the overt sexualization of content in elementary schools nationwide." Progress Pride flags and gender identity books geared toward young children encourage students to ask about them and foster one-sided conversation around inappropriate topics in the classroom, he said.
"If we had more parents like [Feldman], then these policies would never have been rolled out in the first place, and they'd be teaching kids about math and science," Yoder said. "They wouldn't be talking about sexual orientation and homosexuality and having this flamboyant breeding ground for inappropriate content."
The conflict began in October 2022 when Feldman visited Slavens School, where his twin children were second grade students. He noticed dozens of Progress Pride flags displayed in classrooms and hallways, according to the suit.
The Progress Pride flag is a redesigned version of the rainbow flag with additional stripes to specifically honor transgender individuals and people of color.
Feldman told his children's teachers the flags were "not inclusive of all Slavens School students and only represent one viewpoint on the topic of sex," the suit claims. He asked if he could place an identically-sized flag representing his children's views on the same topic alongside the existing flags and allegedly offered an example of a "straight pride flag."
The teachers did not respond, but Feldman continued to raise concerns. Then the Slavens School principal allegedly replied in an email that the district supports the right of employees to post a "rainbow flag or other sign of support for LGBTQIA+ students or staff, because these are symbols consistent with the District’s equity-based curriculum."
"The District doesn't allow for other flags," the principal allegedly told Feldman.
Feldman filed the suit in November in the U.S. District of Colorado. Denver Public Schools, the board of education, Slavens School and several school administrators and other staff are listed as defendants.
A spokesperson for Denver Public Schools told Fox News on Monday that they had not yet been served with the lawsuit, but did not comment further. The district's Board of Education similarly did not offer comment on the suit, but told Fox News the board passed a resolution "in support of the inclusion for our LGBTQIA+ employees, students, and community members" in 2020.
The resolution reaffirms the district's commitment to providing a welcoming environment for all individuals, allowing students to use the bathroom or locker room of their choice, affirming students' gender identity and expression, and honoring students' identities regardless of whether they receive parental "consent."
Yoder said Feldman sets the "gold standard" for parental involvement in their children's educational environment. While the lawsuit seeks $3 million in damages, Yoder said the punitive damages are meant to hold the district accountable for "intentional discrimination."
He also emphasized that Feldman has never asked the school to remove the pride flags and is "in no way attacking the LGBTQ community."
"It's simply the straight forward issue of viewpoint discrimination in a public school," Yoder told Fox News. "You're expressing a viewpoint on one topic and you're silencing our viewpoint on the exact same topic. You cannot do that … it violates the First Amendment."
The lawsuit also claims that, during a meeting with Feldman and the principal, the districts family constituency specialist said sexual orientation, gender and race protections "only apply to homosexuals, people of color, and trans people."
"White, straight kids don't have the same rights" in the district's eyes, Feldman said. "Imagine if those two categories of race and sexual orientation were substituted … [with another identity] and see how that would play out in today's world."
Yoder and partner Chad LaVeglia are behind numerous high-profile constitutional cases across the country, including a suit accusing the Washington Commanders of suppressing Native American history and culture by ditching the "Redskins" name.
Their firm also represented two moms who sued a New York school district for making students wear masks, and Yoder created an equality "activism kit" intended to help students and parents halt the "force-fed ‘Gay Pride’ agenda."