Two middle school educators in Oregon were fired for emailing Daily Wire co-founder and editor emeritus Ben Shapiro about their thoughts on transgender bathroom policy, with the school district claiming it amounted to using school resources to work on a political campaign.
The Grants Pass school board voted 4-3 to terminate assistant principal Rachel Damiano and science teacher Katie Medart, KTVL reported.
In response to pending legislation in Oregon dealing with transgender students in bathrooms and locker rooms, the teachers wrote to Shapiro about an alternative proposal designed to “move away from an argument about ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ It instead focuses on ways in which we can be respectful to all parties involved, while ultimately protecting the hearts and minds of our youth.”
The proposal said that bathrooms could be re-designated as “anatomically-male” and “anatomically-female” and that anyone who did not feel comfortable using those facilities could request a private space. The women called their advocacy for the alternative policy “I Resolve.”
A district investigation held that the pair “used social media and public websites in such a manner that it disrupted the school environment.”
However, the disruption they were being punished for actually referred to the actions of activists who were angry at the educators for voicing their opinions.
“It is clear from the complaints received that the ‘I Resolve’ video posted on YouTube and Facebook, as well as the ‘I Resolve’ website, that a substantial disruption in school occurred,” the investigation said. “This included student protests, staff complaints, citizen complaints, division among the staff, and was interpreted by some who would be affected by the ‘I Resolve’ resolution as disrespectful.”
Eighth-grader Stephanie Eminowicz, who KTVL describes as a “member of the LGBTQ community,” said that when she heard that some teachers wanted students to use bathrooms corresponding to their anatomical sex, “it was just so shocking to me and I couldn’t believe that this was like the world that I was living in.” She wrote her preferred pronouns on her forehead and started a petition to fire the educators.
The two educators have filed a lawsuit against the district and school board members. They are represented by Ray Hacke of the Pacific Justice Institute.
Hacke said, “Because there was a backlash from fellow employees and community members who didn’t like what they had to say you know the district basically threw them under the bus.” He said although the email to Shapiro was sent from a school email address, they generally used their own time and resources to express their opinions.
“People are allowed to have discussions with people about political topics on their own time,” he said, according to KTVL.
Oregon, which is dominated by Portland — one of the whitest and also most progressive cities in America — is not known for keeping politics out of schools.
Examples are endless. Last year, a charter school that was not offering actual education in-person, citing coronavirus, found it possible to gather in-person after all — to have eight-year-olds chant and march in a Black Lives Matter protest. “Our students learn from participation and from the example the school and parents set,” the school said.
The Tigard-Tualatin School District advertises racial segregation, which it calls “Affinity Groups.”
Under the state’s Ethnic Studies Standards, teachers will train children to think of themselves as part of racial factions by “Develop[ing] an understanding of one’s own identity groups including, but not limited to, race, gender, family, ethnicity, culture, religion, and ability.”
As early as 2011, the Portland schools developed a “5-year racial equity plan” saying “In order for the district to achieve educational equity, we must undergo a cultural and organizational transformation.”
By the end of the 5-year period, in 2016-2017, fewer students were achieving at the highest levels of math and English than in previous years, according to district data.
“It is rather obvious that if these teachers had emailed Rachel Maddow and asked her to support a movement in favor of gender non-specific bathrooms, they would still have their jobs. The only reason this is being treated as a fireable offense is that these teachers expressed an opinion of which the social Left does not approve,” Shapiro told Fox News.
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