Skip to comments.Georgia teacher who read gender identity book to 5th graders fired after parent backlash
Posted on 08/22/2023 7:29:51 PM PDT by Morgana
A divided Georgia school board upheld a decision to fire a fifth-grade teacher who read a picture book to her students about gender identity amid ongoing discussions nationwide about the content kids are exposed to in the classroom.
Katherine Rinderle, who has been employed as a teacher for a decade, read the book My Shadow is Purple to her students at Due West Elementary School in Cobb County in March, prompting complaints from parents. The book uses colors to represent the concept of gender identity, as the main character's shadow is purple, but for others, their shadow is blue or pink.
As NBC News reported Friday, the Cobb County School Board voted 4-3 to fire Rinderle, with the board's four Republicans voting to fire the teacher while three Democrats voted against the termination. The board's vote overrode the recommendation of three retired educators that concluded after a two-day hearing that Rinderle violated the district's policies but shouldn't be fired.
In a Monday statement to The Christian Post, a spokesperson said the district is "pleased that this difficult issue has concluded."
"[W]e are very serious about keeping our classrooms focused on teaching, learning, and opportunities for success for students," the spokesperson stated. "The Board's decision is reflective of that mission."
School district lawyer Sherry Culver said it was inappropriate for Rinderle to discuss the concept of gender identity with her students.
"The Cobb County School District is very serious about the classroom being a neutral place for students to learn," she said. "One-sided instruction on political, religious or social beliefs does not belong in our classrooms."
Craig Goodmark of the Goodmark Law Firm, which represents Rinderle alongside the legal advocacy group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that the teacher could appeal the termination decision to the Georgia Board of Education. The attorney disclosed that Rinderle is considering her options, which include potentially bringing the issue to court.
As Goodmark noted, Rinderle still holds a teaching license and could find employment at another school.
"I am disappointed in the district's decision to terminate me for reading an inclusive and affirming book — one that is representative of diverse student identities," Rinderle said in a Thursday statement through the SPLC.
"The district is sending a harmful message that not all students are worthy of affirmation in being their unapologetic and authentic selves," she continued. "This decision, based on intentionally vague policies, will result in more teachers self-censoring in fear of not knowing where the invisible line will be drawn. Censorship perpetuates harm and students deserve better."
Rinderle may be the first Georgia teacher fired following the enactment of laws banning the teaching of certain concepts in the classroom and increasing transparency to provide parents with more of a say in their children's education.
Last year, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also signedbills to remove obscene materials from school libraries and open local school board meetings to the public.
Multiple school districts nationwide have made headlines over the same issues.
Earlier this month, parents from various faith backgrounds rallied together as oral arguments began in a lawsuit against Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. The parents seek to restore the right to opt their children out of lessons that use LGBT-themed materials.
The school introduced a series of LGBT books last fall, and while it initially honored the parents' requests to exempt their children from certain content, the district began requiring all students to participate in LGBT-inclusive teachings in March. The parents feel as if the decision violates their right to determine the religious upbringing of their children.
Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel for the Becket Law, said that some books the parents objected to include Pride Puppy and Uncle Bob's Wedding. The legal group filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of parents seeking the right to opt their children out of such teachings.
"It's an important case for respecting the right of children to have the guidance of their own parents, and school boards don't have the right to cut children off from their parents," Baxter told CP at the time.
I remember when Georgia was a red state. This is news now.
Some people DO NOT need "representation". They need sequestering. As far away from children as possible.
Pride Puppy???? Child molesters always use puppies to lure children.
Who is incentivizing these teachers and officials to encourage this crap? Follow the money. Teachers, professors, school board officials, and bureaucrats, are all money grabbers. They only lift a finger for a pay-day. All this gender craziness is heavy lifting. It’s way beyond a $70K salary that lifts fingers. Educators are reaping massive cash somehow for gender identity crap.
Go on tic tok. A lot of these teachers are young, just out of college with an agenda to push and say so on their videos. A lot of the videos I’ve posted by Odins Men have those videos. They are creepy and dangerous. It could be her principal had no idea she was even reading this book.
Reading a picture book in 5th grade?
That’s about 3 grades too late.
Somebody needs to be fired and it’s not just the teacher.
When you go home at the end of every day, you haven't been groomed to cut your genitals or breasts off, either!
One odious perverted groomer fired - good
The teachers unions are basically commie front groups and always have been. The entire public ed system needs to be burned to the ground and the earth salted.
They are still primarily motivated by money. It’s very simple really.
These are the same books the parents read aloud at school board meetings, and are asked by board members to stop reading because of their explicit graphic sexual content.
Huge rally for Parent Rights in LA today! MANY Hispanic faces in the crowd. They don’t go in for this woke crap.
We need much, much more of this.
Another stupid democrat white woman.
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