TR teacher resigns due to pride flag mandate

A Three Rivers teacher left his job in the middle of the school day Monday rather than adhere to a district-ordered mandate to remove a pride flag from his classroom.

Russell Ball posted a video to social media minutes after resigning and leaving Three Rivers Middle School. Ball, age 43, taught physical education and health.

Ball said an internal email from administration was sent Friday. It indicated the district’s legal representation, Thrun Law Firm of Grand Rapids, recommended staff members remove pride symbols until further notice. A follow-up email Monday morning, however, stated staff must remove pride flags, banners and symbols immediately.

Ball said he opted to not follow through on the command, choosing instead to stand up for his rights and principles. Within a few hours after school started, he received additional notice that he had until the start of fourth period to comply. Ball said he spent third hour gathering his belongings and walked off the job at the start of fourth hour.

Three Rivers Community Schools interim superintendent Nikki Nash was not available for comment late Tuesday afternoon. Nash, however, told WWMT that the situation is ongoing and the board of education’s next meeting is Dec. 6.

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  1. The only flags that should be hung in a public school are the US and State flags. A classroom is not your personal bulletin board. Otherwise, prepare for all kinds of social/political/religious expressions that alienate the students.

  2. Firstly, I am not related to Mr. Ball. That being said there is no mention why this action was taken to begin with. Do we want our youth to grow up knowing only what some groups want them to know? Actions like this are a major reason that attacks on LGBTQ individuals have increased over the past 4 years. I applaud Mr. Ball and the stand he has taken. Three Rivers Schools – DO BETTER.

  3. Maybe the solution is to make it fair to everyone and NO FLAG from any group and even the United States flag included. Put them on the flag poles outside, not in the classrooms.

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