Norwegian parents protest against rainbow schoolbag


Northern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis,

The disputed schoolbag. Photo Facebook, Truls Olufsen-Mehus - KrF

Some Norwegian parents refuse to let their children use a schoolbag with a rainbow symbol. In their opinion, it is wrong to put political symbols on schoolbags.

With taxpayers’ money, two Norwegian regions bought about 3000 schoolbags for children who will attend school for the first time. The bags are decorated with a large Pride logo.

Karin Arnesen Hamnevoll and Truls Olufsen-Mehus, both parents of a 6-year-old child and members of the Christian party KrF, refused to let their children use them. “Political symbols have nothing to do with schoolbags, as the symbols have a different meaning for everybody”, they argue in Dagen.

Truls Olufsen-Mehus. Photo Facebook, Truls Olufsen-Mehus - KrF

Arnesen Hamnevoll and Olufsen-Mehus are not the only parents who complain. Dagen writes that the parents received several messages from other fathers and mothers who did not want to accept and use the bag.

Demonstrating the rainbow symbol creates a new form of exclusion, Arnesen Hamnevoll and Olufsen-Mehus argue. They state that the Pride symbol excludes anyone who disagrees with the political agenda of the Pride movement. In their opinion, “several students probably have a positive association to the rainbow flag and Pride, but not all. Therefore, consideration must be given to both visions.”

Karin Arnesen Hamnevoll. Photo Facebook, Karin Arnesen Hamnevoll

Both parents express a strong desire for their children “to enjoy the solemn presentation of a new schoolbag” and for parents to enjoy the schoolbag together with their children “without political symbols in kindergarten and school.”

Gender theories at school

The Pride symbol was put on the schoolbags to introduce a third gender, and a change to gender-neutral vocabulary in the public sector, Norge iDag writes. Children in primary school are already taught liberal gender theories and the possibilities of gender reassignment.

However, the Pride symbol is not undisputed. The Norwegian think tank Civita writes that Pride has become a demonstration of power and is no longer about love, Norge iDag writes. In addition, some voices protest that rainbow flagging excludes everyone who does not sympathise with the political agenda of the association for gender and sexual diversity.



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