Letter to the editor: Rainbow in a red county

Published 6:19 am Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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To the editor:

Thank you to those who wrote in response to my letter to the wditor a couple of weeks ago regarding the rainbow on the House System Rock at Ellis Middle School.

To clarify, my letter was not intended to sway any one person in believing what I believe but rather, as a means of expressing another’s point of view and hopefully, seeing a different perspective from the eyes of another.

When word got out that the rock was to be painted over, many friends of mine in education, medicine and social work reached out to me outraged by the decision. My letter was written not only in my voice but on behalf of theirs as well.

It is disheartening, but not surprising, to know that I live in a county with some who believe that if you are not straight, conservative or Christian, your beliefs don’t matter. I was raised to believe that we are all created in God’s image and as such, deserve “the pursuit of a meaningful life” no matter our race, religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation (referred to by some as “lifestyle choices”). I certainly was not expecting a sermon and a lecture. To hear that one’s gender identity is determined during puberty and hormonal changes in middle school, and not in the womb, was news to me! I think we may need to fact check that one.

Regardless of your views, the rainbow painted on the rock at Ellis Middle School was, in fact, a reflection of the House Colors and absolutely nothing else. This argument that the rainbow has been “hijacked” is nonsense.

The rainbow does not belong to you or me, and does not mean only one thing. I’ve seen it on baby nursery decor, board games, paintings, calendars and daily planners (I have both), hospitals and childcare centers and not once did I get so offended that I requested all rainbows be removed from everything I saw.

So what if the LGBTQ community is using it as well? We don’t own it. Who are we to say who can and cannot use it or how someone should view a rainbow? Showing a little bit of humility, empathy and kindness goes a long way. Perhaps revisit that beautiful passage that commands us to love our neighbors as ourself?

What saddens me most is that when a complaint arose from the rainbow on the House System rock, no backbone was demonstrated in the handling of it. An explanation to the complainant of what it was (and what it wasn’t) could have sufficed. No support was given to the teachers and staff who worked hard on it. No accountability was shown since the person who made the decision, has since denied what they did to concerned citizens who emailed opposing the decision. I hope this is not a preview of what we can expect to see in the future when other complaints arise, and you can bet in this culture we are in now, they will.

I don’t expect to change opinions. I only wish to inform the powers that be that not everyone in Davie shares those same opinions. Many of us here believe that we all deserve a seat at the table, whether you like it or not.

If you wish to discuss further, negative or positive, you are welcome to email me at RainbowInARedCounty@gmail.com.

Misty Hall,    Advance