North Carolina teacher suspended for playing LGBT anti-bullying video
A teacher in North Carolina has been suspended for playing her class an anti-bullying video.
North Lincoln High School teacher Kimberly Fernetti had played the clip titled Love is All You Need to her teenage class as part of a lesson on bullying.
The clip, which has previously gone viral on YouTube and has more than 4 million views, imagines a world where everyone is presumed to be homosexual, and a teenage girl faces bullying and harassment just because she fancies a boy – holding a mirror up to homophobia.
Although the message of the film was taken to heart by many in the class, anti-LGBT parents filed a string of complaints after discovering the clip had been played.
School officials confirmed Ms Fernetti had been suspended pending investigation after a deluge of complaints.
Some of the parents purportedly took issue with a scene at the end of the short in which the girl, repeatedly targeted by violent bullies, attempts to take her own life.
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However, others insist the real issue that stirred the complaints is the message that homosexuality is okay.
The clip is freely available on YouTube with no content or age restriction.”
Speaking to WSOC, one student said they had supported the decision to screen the film, adding that the school has problems with bullying.
They said: “I think it’s a great message to get out in the school… I personally have dealt with bullying, so I think it’s good to get the point across that ‘Hey, it’s not OK to pick on somebody’.”
Also defending the film, one parent added: “I don’t think it was vulgar or anything. I think it’s better to be aware and to know the possibility of what kids’ actions could do.”
WSOC reports that Ms Fernetti is now back at work.
It is not the first time the film, which is frequently used in schools, has caused upset.
A Kansas teacher was forced out of his job in 2015 for playing the clip – though he was eventually reinstated after a campaign.