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Georgia Teacher Caught Reading Gender ID Book to Children

via NBC News
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A Georgia teacher sued her former school district after being fired for reading a children’s book about gender identity to her fifth grade class.

Katherine Rinderle had taught at Due West Elementary School in the Cobb County district for over a decade and had tenure.

She read the book “My Shadow is Purple” to students after they requested it, but the district claims it violated policies against teaching “controversial” topics.

“It is important that the child being non-binary is not painted in a negative light or criticized by their parents. It shows how parents can support and boost their child’s confidence. The author has positive messages for people that are different,” a Social Justice Books review reads.

While Rinderle argued she did not teach gender ideology, the district said she introduced her personal views.

“A lesson was taught about gender identity and gender fluidity. We are also concerned that Ms. Rinderle introduced her own personal feelings on the matter,” Employee Relations and Evaluations director Christopher Dowd said.

“There was not a point where she accepted that as a teacher she would be responsible for anything that entered the classroom,” Dowd said. “I never heard her ask about the students… The concerns were always self-directed.”

The district’s “vague censorship policies enable arbitrary, discriminatory, and retaliatory enforcement against educators… who support LGBTQ students,” the suit stated.

“Rinderle has been terminated simply for reading an award-winning children’s book, written from the perspective of a student who does not conform to gender stereotypes, to her fifth-grade students,” it added.

“Defendants’ Censorship Policies, practices, and actions, as described herein, prohibit teachers from… presenting information about gender identities and/or expressions that do not conform to sex stereotypes,” the suit said.

“Defendants’ Censorship Policies and their enforcement of the policies to prohibit, upon pain of termination, teachers from discussing topics, presenting material, or otherwise providing age-appropriate information to students about people whose gender expression, gender identities and/or sexual orientation violate sex stereotypes is prohibited sex discrimination,” the suit said.

The termination was upheld and Rinderle, represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is suing arguing the vague policies enable censorship of LGBTQ topics.

The suit aims to allow age-appropriate discussion of gender identity in schools without fear of job loss.

“Rinderle remains unemployed and is still reeling from the ‘shock at being so highly praised in my career to have it go away suddenly,'” the Southern Poverty Law Center stated.

“Cobb County’s district leadership has weaponized its vague censorship policies to terminate Katie Rinderle and caused fear and confusion among Cobb County educators who want safe and inclusive classrooms for their students,” SPLC senior supervising attorney Michael Tafelski said.

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