GA School Board Fires First Teacher Over Banned Books

On The Run Photo /
On The Run Photo /

The position the Georgia School Board painted itself into is a very interesting one. Voting 4-3 along party lines, the board voted to fire Kate Rinderle after reading a book on gender fluidity to her fifth-grade class. A panel of three retired educators convened and heard testimony over a two-day hearing. Ultimately, they concluded that she had violated district policy, but not enough to be fired.

Overruling the panel like this is unprecedented.

Rinderle was a teacher for 10 years before she opted to read “My Shadow is Purple” by Scott Stuart at Due West Elementary School. Upon hearing this, some parents filed complaints. It has turned into a firestorm of controversy over what schools are allowed to teach and if a family can overrule a teacher’s curriculum.

The First Amendment right to free speech has certain nuances to it, like yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre is not protected speech. However, the expression of free speech in the classroom has been challenged repeatedly over time. The information that kids are learning has changed extensively over the years. Especially when it comes to the Civil War and slavery. Those changes came with a lot of controversies and huge differences in how the story needed to be told.

Yet people met and discussed those changes Now, people like Rinderle want to come and challenge the rule as written by her school board. In a statement she sent through the Southern Poverty Law Center, which helped represent her, she is still worried about the message being sent here.

“The district is sending a harmful message that not all students are worthy of affirmation in being their unapologetic and authentic selves. 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.”

Liberals are forcing the nation into troubled waters by rocking the boat with this kind of rhetoric in schools. It’s not healthy or good for the students to be going through this, yet here they are. Allowing this to continue will only continue to weaken the nation.