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Teacher tries to shame young girls by asking if they’re queer in front of their entire class

Reiss Smith February 11, 2020
Florida teacher asks young girls about their sexuality in front of whole class

Jezenia Gambino pulled her daughter out of fifth grade after her teacher asked if she had a girlfriend. (WPTV)

A mother says she’s been forced to homeschool her daughter after a schoolteacher asked if she was queer in front of her entire class.

Jezenia Gambino pulled her preteen daughter out of Northport K-8 in Port St Lucie, Florida, after she was shamed by a teacher.

“The rumour was that my daughter and another fifth-grade little girl were dating,” Gambino told WPTV News.

After the girls’ teacher heard the rumour, she asked the them “if they were together, if they were dating as a couple together”.

Gambino said she “asked them in a way that they felt they were in trouble”.

The girl only told her mother about the incident after she received a text from her friend which left her visibly upset.

Her friend had told her “she wasn’t sure if they should hang out together anymore because of what happened in school”.

She didn’t want anyone to think they were gay.

After Gambino complained to the school principal the St Lucie County School District opened a brief investigation.

A week later she was told that the teacher in question had been reported to the Florida Department of Education for engaging in inappropriate communication, and had been given a verbal warning.

Gambino feels that officials haven’t gone far enough to remedy the situation. As a result, she is now homeschooling her daughter.

“What they did affected my daughter in a way that now I’m having to go back and fix,” she told WPTV.

The district school board said it “will not tolerate sexual harassment or any other form of illegal harassment by any of its employees, students, volunteers or agents”.

Gambino’s story is in stark contrast to the experiences of Andrew, a young trans man who was given the surprise of a lifetime by his school friends on his 18th birthday.

More: coming out, Florida, Florida Department of Education, Port St Lucie

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