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An elementary school teacher who was disciplined by her school after posting a TikTok saying she talked to her students about sexuality has been hired again and is teaching even younger children at a new school.
Fourth-grade teacher Jenna Hall parted ways in May with Renaissance Academy in Lehi, Utah, after the school investigated a TikTok in which Hall says some of her students “are queer because I’m queer.”
“A lot of them are queer because I’m queer, and they figured it out, and so I’ve become their safe space,” Hall says in the video posted on her TikTok account, which was highlighted by the Twitter account Libs of TikTok.
She adds that her students, who by then had moved on to fifth grade, put a “queer” spin on a game called “Guess Who” when they came to visit her classroom.
Students said things like, “This person looks like a lesbian baddie who’s going to come over and make you dinner,” and “Which character just looks gay?” according to Hall.
“Man, I could never imagine being in fifth grade saying these things out loud, even though I know they’re all okay. I grew up super religious where nothing was okay,” she adds as the words “internalized homophobia” pop up on the screen.
After Hall’s TikTok went viral on social media and attracted national attention, she was placed on administrative leave while Renaissance Academy investigated the video, which they called “concerning.”
“In the video, the teacher described several inappropriate conversations with former students,” Renaissance Academy said at the time.
“Our teachers are expected to comport themselves with the highest degree of professionalism. Behavior that is unprofessional, in violation of state code, or that violates the trust placed in us by the families of Renaissance Academy will not be tolerated,” the charter school said.
Shortly afterward, Hall and the school “mutually agreed to separate,” and Hall resigned.
“I think parents across Utah, when we see things like this, you can’t help but feel a little bit violated,” Corrine Johnson, public relations director for Utah Parents United, said at the time.
“That is a parent’s domain — values, attitudes and beliefs of their children to be shaped by parents. And these topics, they do stray into the realm of religion,” Johnson said.
However, Hall is once again teaching elementary students this year.
Beehive Science & Technology Academy in Sandy, Utah, has hired Hall as a second-grade teacher for the 2022 school year.
“Right now, my school is a brand new school, so none of the kids know each other, so we’re working on those social-emotional skills to know how to make friends and what good friends do,” Hall said in a video posted to her TikTok account on Tuesday.
In other TikToks posted in the last week, Hall says she is “going into my fourth year” of teaching, gives a tour of her classroom, and describes the activities she plans to assign on the first day of school.
“Welcome to Miss Hall’s class! I’m so glad you’re here!” is written on the whiteboard in the classroom she shows. “Welcome to second grade” is written in colorful letters on the door.
On Thursday morning, parents of children attending Beehive Academy organized a small, peaceful protest outside the school to protest Hall’s hiring.
One parent of a child at Beehive Academy said they were “horrified” to learn that Hall would be teaching at the school when a group of parents recognized her at a back-to-school event in July.
“Jenna Hall should not even be around children, let alone teach a second grade class,” the parent told The Daily Wire.
“Our kids deserve more from our teachers. Many of us at Beehive removed our children from the public school system in search of real academic excellence without a political agenda. There now seem to be few options free of children groomers like Ms. Hall. Therefore, my family and others with similar concerns have decided to fight back,” the parent said.
The parent called for Beehive Academy to terminate Hall immediately.
Contacted for comment, Beehive Academy defended Hall’s hiring, saying it is “confident” students will benefit from Hall’s presence.
“Since its inception, Beehive Science and Technology Academy has been a strong advocate of human rights for all of its students and staff members. Discrimination in any form is against everything this school stands for. Diversity of beliefs and cultures helps encourage an environment of growth and acceptance among all of us,” Beehive Academy Director Hanifi Oguz told The Daily Wire in an email.
“Due to privacy laws, we will not be discussing the qualifications of the individual in question. However, we can assure you that this person—like all of our staff members—has been carefully vetted and interviewed. We’re confident that all of our students will benefit from this individual’s presence on our campus,” Oguz said.