SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Teachers with ‘Safe Space’ signs in Lead-Deadwood schools will have to remove the decorations due to a new policy.

The policy states that materials and decorations cannot display any social agenda or controversial subject matter, which includes political and religious messages. The policy does not extend to school counselors who are still permitted to display signage in alignment with the American School Counselor Association standards.

The decision comes after a teacher within the district complained to the school board that a rainbow sign displaying the message “THIS IS A SAFE SPACE ALL ARE WELCOME HERE” was posted outside a classroom in the elementary school last September.

The teacher, Gwen Hess, alleged that the sign was pressuring her child, who is a student at the school, to “be gay” and the signs discouraged the child from seeking help from teachers with the sign.

The issue was brought before the school board in May with almost two hours of testimonies, mostly from residents of Lead-Deadwood who were in support of the signs.

The new policy states that if a “reasonably minded person” would have a strong negative reaction to displayed signs and materials, the display should be removed by the administration.

Included in the controversial subject matter are the following topics:

  • Endorsing a political candidate, position, or slogan
  • Images, slogans, or phrases that have appeared in media and have been associated with a controversy or a movement or a cause
  • Images, slogans, or phrases that a reasonable person would deem offensive, obscene, or inflammatory