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A teacher at Three Rivers Middle School in southwest Michigan resigned after school administrators insisted he remove a flag from the pride of his class.

Russell Ball tells Mlive he’s been in teaching for 10 years and quit his job on Monday (11/22) after the warrant was issued. He was a district health and physical education teacher.

Ball, who identifies as bisexual, says having the flag in his classroom wasn’t about him, but a way of showing students that they were in a safe environment.

“To me, the flag represents love and inclusion for everyone, not just members of the LGBTQ community,” Ball said. “Taking down the flag made me feel like I was complicit in the removal and continued marginalization of students who have already been significantly marginalized, and I was not going to participate in that. “

Ball says he and other staff received an email from administrators on Friday (11/19) and again on Monday saying district attorneys were advising removing all pride flags from teachers’ classrooms .

Ball defied the order.

He then received a text from the deputy building manager saying the flag needed to be removed. The 33-year-old has packed his bags and says he handed in his letter of resignation in the middle of the day.

“This is something that is so important to me, that my students have this safe space, that I was not ready to continue my studies without it,” he said.

Ball posted the video below on social media after submitting his resignation.

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