A California teacher faces an official investigation after videos surfaced of her detailing the removal of the American flag from her classroom. In one video, she said that she told a student that he could pledge allegiance to a gay pride flag instead.
The teacher, identified as Kristen Pitzen by Fox News, teaches in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, in Orange County, California. She described her approach to the Pledge of Allegiance during her class in a now-viral TikTok video.
In the video, she says that she lets students make up their own minds about whether they want to stand or recite the pledge.
“So, my class decided to stand but not say the words. Totally fine. Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag. It used to be there,” she said pointing to the classroom wall. “But I took it down during Covid because it made me uncomfortable. I packed it away, and I don’t know where. I haven’t found it yet.”
Apparently, one day, a student told her that it was strange the class just stood and had no flag to look to during the pledge. Laughing, Pitzen said she told him that she was “working on it”.
“In the meantime, I tell this kid, we do have a flag in the class that you can ‘pledge your allegiance to,’” Pitzen said pointing to the pride flag displayed on the wall. In an earlier video, she gave a tour of her classroom showing the different rainbow flags she had put up for Pride Month, saying at one point, “I pledge allegiance to the queers.”
On Saturday, the New-Mesa Unified School District announced on Facebook that it was looking into the videos.
“On Friday evening, one of our teachers created a personal social media post that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag. Showing respect for our nation’s flag is an important value our District instills in our students and is an expectation of our employees,” the school district posted. “We take this matter seriously and are investigating and addressing it.”
A spokeswoman for the school district told the New York Post that they were “taking action to address it.” The videos have since disappeared off of Pitzen’s TikTok account.
In response to the video, Richard Grenell, a former Acting Director of National Intelligence during the Trump administration, tweeted out, “What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko? Why are parents turning their kids over to someone they don’t know? I’d like to talk to people who think this is good?!?”
In recent years, the Pledge of Allegiance has become a contentious political issue with many in the sports world refusing to stand for the anthem during sporting events. Many NFL and NBA athletes have all chosen to protest the playing of the anthem. The debate is also vigorous in state education.
Just last week, The Daily Wire highlighted the furious phone call Iowa State Representative Carter Nordam (R-IA) got for adding an amendment to a bill requiring K-12 schools to lead their students in the pledge every day.
Nordam told Fox, “I thought it was important to show what we are up against. Some people have a lot of hatred for this country and have a lot of hatred for what the United States stands for. I think the Pledge of Allegiance can unite us all and do a lot of good for everybody, regardless of your race, your gender, your religion, your sexuality.”