For second year, pride flag to fly in Blaine Courtyard


Photo provided by Riva Cohen

Last year, two current sixth graders started a petition to fly the Progress Pride flag in the Blaine courtyard. The tradition will continue this year, and the flag will be raised for the month of June.

Jaya Alenghat, Reporter

In honor of Pride Month in June, the Rainbow Alliance group at Lab’s lower school is raising a Progress Pride flag in the Blaine courtyard on June 1, continuing the tradition that was started last year by two students who are now in sixth grade.

The flag will be flown until the end of June, and the entire lower school is invited to watch the initial flag-raising ceremony.

Current sixth graders Lucy Osborne and Lily Vogel created this tradition in spring 2022. 

“They wanted everyone to be able to be seen,” Riva Cohen, lower school assistant principal, said

After Lucy and Lily asked Ms. Cohen to sign their petition, she suggested that they release an advertisement in one of their lower school assemblies to raise awareness. They reached their goal of 120 signatures after the assembly, and presented their proposal to Laboratory Schools Director Tori Jueds.

Lucy and Lily started this effort because they noticed some of their classmates who identify as LGBTQ+ were treated poorly.

“I talked to a few of my LGBTQ+ friends, and they said that people were making them feel bad about their pronouns,” Lucy said.

So, they decided to raise awareness by starting the tradition of raising a Progress Pride flag during Pride Month.

Lily said, “We felt that Lab didn’t have enough representation for the LGBTQ+ community and we felt that we should make a difference by getting a flag.”

Chris Sullivan, Mariaelana Lozano and Melissa Steger are the fifth, fourth and third grade counselors who currently lead the Rainbow Alliance. The group was created last year in response to parents reaching out about the difficulty in finding support for their younger children who identified as transgender and nonbinary.

“I think any time we’re creating space for kids to have a sense of belonging is something that is important to us,” Ms. Steger said. 

The Rainbow Alliance meets during lunch on Fridays and gives lower school students the support they need.

“We want to make sure it feels safe to them and that it’s a safe space,” Ms. Lozano said. 

The group raises visibility for the LGBTQ+ community in the lower school, and was given the opportunity to raise the progressive pride flag again this year. 

Ms. Sullivan said, “It is something that the group feels strongly about and they’re very proud of who they are.”