Welcoming signs stir up trouble in the heartland

The people of Delano are going to have to suck it up and accept some welcoming diversity, apparently.

The Star Tribune says the school superintendent is reversing an earlier decision and allowing teachers to keep the signs they put up after a black family’s home was vandalized.

The signs, which say “Diverse, Inclusive, Accepting, Welcoming, Safe Space for Everyone,” featured the colors of the rainbow and that, apparently, was the problem for some parents in Delano.

“We do have a number of folks with the community that have a concern … with the rainbow representing one group of people,” superintendent Matthew Schoen tells the paper.

“We did not do this as part of an agenda,” said Joe Lawrence, a teacher who was in a meeting between the union and administrators yesterday. “We did this as teachers to make sure all students feel welcome.”

Delano is a tough place for simple things. Last year, some citizens clutched their pearls after an artist wanted to install a labyrinth as part of a public art installation.

But this whole “welcoming” thing really gets under people’s skin around here.

Warning, some people may find this image too graphic.


In Wisconsin, a retired teacher bought 170 signs — at $10 a pop — that say “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”

What is this crazy talk?

Some people lost it when they saw the words are not only written in English, but also Spanish and Arabic, the Milwaukee Journal’s Jim Stingl writes today.

Dean Zimmerman tried handing them out around his region.

“I think many of them ended up in dumpsters,” he said. “Teachers told me things like, ‘Are you nuts? I wouldn’t put that sign up today.'”

“I did have it in the window for a couple of days, and a few other people did and then they started taking them down. So I lost my nerve,” said one business owner who didn’t want his name used.

Even a church took the sign down because of the blowback.

“We had other places asking us about it,” a church senior warden told Stingl, “and why we were putting it out there without knowing what the words were saying underneath.”