A transgender teacher in Florida has been removed from the classroom in the Hernando School District (HSD) and law enforcement officials have seized the individual’s firearms after they allegedly made a comment about wanting to shoot students.
WEAR ABC 3 reported that the teacher, who uses “she/her” pronouns, had recently learned of a social media post in which their “sexual orientation was being discussed negatively.”
The teacher was sent to the school guidance counselor’s office on March 24 after reportedly claiming to be having “bad thoughts.”
The teacher allegedly made “concerning comments about self-harm” and said they were having “suicidal thoughts” and that they owned firearms and “wanted to shoot some students due to them not performing to their ability.”
Officials have not released the name of the teacher.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) quickly responded to the incident by removing three firearms and ammunition from the teacher’s home that same day.
The Florida Department of Education released a statement Friday indicating that the teacher has been removed from the classroom.
“Earlier this week, the Department was informed of a situation regarding student safety at a school in Hernando County,” the statement said. “Upon the Department bringing the concern to the Superintendent Wednesday evening, only then did the district remove the teacher from the school, effective yesterday, Thursday, April 13. Therefore, the teacher is no longer at the school.”
Please see the Florida Department of Education’s statement below on a school safety situation in Hernando County. pic.twitter.com/gBwNpcf4H6
— Florida Department of Education (@EducationFL) April 14, 2023
Parents have accused the school district of withholding information from them due to alleged discrepancies in what allegedly happened.
The school district said in a letter to parents on Thursday that the investigation from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office revealed details “not previously known by the school district” that “appear to conflict with information gathered at the time of the incident.”
“In light of this additional information, the school district will continue to investigate the incident and require further involvement by mental health experts,” the letter said. “As part of our investigation, we will take a hard look at all the actions that were taken on that day, and in the days following the incident, and determine if any steps were missed.”
The school district said that the conclusions from the pending investigation may lead “to consideration of additional safeguards.”
A small number of parents said at last week’s school board meeting that they thought the teacher was being targeted because they were transgender, but “the majority of parents” did not agree with that sentiment, according to local media.
“Doesn’t matter whether they’re white, black, purple, green or a rhinoceros,” one father said. “I’m glad she’s a great teacher. She made a threat.”
Another parent responded, “Anybody that makes a comment like that should not be working in a school. If a student made that comment there would be charges pressed. The child would be expelled.”