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It's unclear who made the remark during the virtual meeting of the Newberg School Board.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Volunteers built large Pride and Black Lives Matter flags in sight of Newberg High School to protest the school board's ban on political symbols. The Newberg School District says a community member giving public comment used a slur about a student after leaving their microphone unmuted during a school board meeting.

Who exactly used the slur during the Oct. 12 meeting remains unknown, though the person who had just finished making a public comment said it was not them.

In a statement, PFLAG Newberg, a local LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, noted that the slur was "directed at a child" and "publicly broadcast and heard by the students, staff and families listening to the meeting."

The group said in a statement: "Such an egregious and hateful slur can cause irreparable harm to our students. We call for the NSD school board members to formally acknowledge the hurt caused by this commenter and ensure that he is barred from further comment at school board meetings. We expect that the school board will affirm the importance and value of all students, denounce hate speech and announce their commitment to supporting our students through word and deed.

"Failure to take a stand on abusive language will embolden and encourage more abuse. LGBTQ+ students are among those facing hostility and discrimination in their homes, neighborhoods and schools, taking a toll on their well-being. Your visible support will contribute your commitment to supporting the dignity of all."

According to KOIN 6 News, the district said they condemn the comments made during the meeting.

The comment comes in the wake of a monthslong discussion and debate after the school board voted to ban Pride and Black Lives Matter symbols in schools, then later banned all political symbols.

Newberg Schools Chairman Dave Brown said adults in the area are setting a poor example for students.

"That fact that we're going to ask kids to not bully, I could write down pages of the way I've been bullied, and it's from adults, it's not the kids, and it's people in this meeting. You know, if you're going to call in and talk about how one person feels, you got to talk about how everybody feels. So my challenge is when you look in the mirror tonight is 'do I bully?'" he said.

This academic year alone, one employee in the district was fired after showing up to work in blackface and an investigation was launched into a student's involvement in a racist Snapchat group joking about slavery.

KOIN 6 News is a media partner of the Portland Tribune. Read their story here. Ryan Clarke contributed reporting for the Portland Tribune.

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