Utah Stories

Teachers Can Display LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and Political Views in Classrooms After House Kills Bill

On today’s top 5, teachers will be allowed to display LGBTQ+ flags and political views in the classroom after the House votes on bill.


  1. BYU-Idaho Bans Music Professor From Speaking and Performing Jazz After His Disbelief in the LDS Church 

Ryan Nielsen, a nationally recognized professor of music at Utah Valley University, was pleased and proud when Brigham Young University-Idaho invited him to teach trumpet workshops and perform as a guest artist at a jazz festival on the Rexburg campus, according to The Tribune. Last week Nielsen got a call saying his invitation had been rescinded. The faculty member that called him said the invitation had been rescinded because of his change of faith. 

The Tribune article said, at the festival, which went forward as planned Friday and Saturday, a BYU-Idaho alum distributed more than a dozen black T-shirts with the words “RYAN just wanted to talk about jazz.”

  1. Kevin Costner Recalls How Southern Utah Captured His Imagination For Filmmaking 

Utah’s scenery plays a factor in Kevin Costner’s film “Horizon”, which will hit theaters June 28th. Southern Utah’s striking red vistas and meandering rivers captured the director’s heart and imagination, according to St George News. Costner also thanked the people of Utah, many of whom worked on the film due to the Rural Film Incentives plan previously passed by the state Legislature, according to St. George News. “It was the best place in the world for me to go. I travel through the country and I always go through there,” Costner said. “My head is on a swivel when I go through Utah. It’s magic.” 

“I kind of bypassed the smart business decision to go where my money could stretch farther. I didn’t want to rob the audience of a second of what Utah is,” Costner said. “The state has had an impact on me. I’ll never forget Utah. Utah is where I wanted to be.”

  1. Tim Ballard Tells CPAC that Biden Border Agents Have Become “Sex Trafficking Delivery Service” 

Tim Ballard, the embattled former CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, said Saturday that the Biden administration’s U.S. border agents have become a “child-sex-trafficking delivery service” in one of his first public appearances since multiple lawsuits accused him of sexually assaulting a string of women according to The Tribune. 

Ballard appeared onstage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington during a Q&A session alongside the producer of “Sound of Freedom,” the movie loosely inspired by Ballard’s efforts against sex trafficking. Ballard said the film was repeatedly rejected by studios since it would “force a conversation” people didn’t want to have — “especially about the southern border, where tens of thousands of kids have disappeared into the belly of the United States — which is the number one consumer of child rape videos in the world.”

  1. Utah House Kills Bill Banning LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and Political Views From Classrooms 

Utah teachers will be free to display LGBTQ+ pride flags and other social, political, and religious imagery after the House blocked a bill this Monday, according to the Standard Examiner. The Republican-led chamber defeated the proposal in a 39-32 vote as they raced to address hundreds of outstanding bills during the final week of the 2024 legislative session. Both Democrats and Republicans criticized the bill’s vague language and warned that it could stymie important lessons in critical thinking, according to The Standard Examiner. 

Joel Briscoe, a teacher in Utah said, “I did not find it my job as a teacher to ask my students to think in a certain way.” “I did believe as a teacher that it was my job to ask my students to think.”

  1. Biden and Utah’s Governor Call For Less Bitterness and More Bipartisanship in Nation’s Politics 

President Joe Biden and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox disagree on many issues but they were united Saturday in calling for less bitterness in politics and more bipartisanship, according to the Daily Herald. 

“Politics has gotten too personally bitter,” said Biden, who has practiced politics since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. “It’s just not like it was.” The Democratic president commented while delivering a toast to the nation’s governors and their spouses at a black-tie White House dinner in their honor.

Gov. Cox said to Biden that as state chief executives, governors “know just a very little bit of the incredible burden that weighs on your shoulders. We can’t imagine what it must be like, the decisions that you have to make, but we feel a small modicum of that pressure and so, tonight, we honor you.”

*Content for this article curated from other sources.

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