Parking Spot Painting Causes Controversy in Kansas Town

MARION, KS - Marion High School in Kansas allows students to paint their parking spots on campus as part of a tradition that gives them something fun to look forward to.

This year, a senior at Marion High School painted the image of a rainbow flag in his designated parking spot. The choice of expression caused some issues for some community members.

The senior was told his painting was approved.  Then he was told it needed to be removed.  Ultimately, the student was allowed to keep it.

“A few days ago there was a community complaint and the school had to do something about it so they told him he had to cover it,” explained Charles Nordquist, a student at Marion High School.

“I myself am religious, but I’m also a member of the LGBT community and I think it’s very hurtful to everyone,” said Nordquist. “It’s the same if someone were to put a cross on their parking spot and a non-religious person said that was offensive to them, they should have to cover that too as well by the same judgment.”

Initially the principal, Tod Gordon, approved the rainbow painting, but once the complaints started coming in, he emailed the student saying:

The school did not ask you to repaint your parking spot. I asked to have the parking repainted due to the concern in the community it has raised. In my 1st meeting I said anything that created a controversy could not be used for parking spots. The parking has to be very simple and no concerns to the community.

A petition was created in response to the school’s email, and it gained nearly 600 signatures to leave the rainbow alone. Students at Marion High School said the problem isn’t with the school, it’s with the community.

Gordon changed his mind and said Wednesday the rainbow flag would stay in the student’s parking space. 

Officials asked that the name of the student be withheld.

(Original story from


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