Furious teacher scrawls ‘heteros rule’ over students’ Pride flag chalk drawings
Parents were left in disbelief after a middle school teacher allegedly wrote “heteros rule” on top of students’ chalk art of LGBT+ Pride flags.
One parent of a student at Sartartia Middle School in Sugar Land, Texas, told NBC-affiliate KPRC 2 that her daughter and other students had been drawing on a sidewalk during their free period. Some of the art depicted LGBT+ Pride flags including the lesbian, transgender, pansexual and asexual Pride flags.
The parent – who asked for her identity to be kept anonymous – said the students were approached by a supervising teacher, who ordered them to erase the drawing. When the students refused, the parent said the teacher then “lost control” and defaced the chalk art.
“The teacher then threatened to pour a drink on the chalk art, and finally grabbed some chalk and wrote ‘heteros rule’ over the Pride flags,” the parent said.
Parents sent KPRC 2 a picture of the students’ art, and the words “heteros rule” was written in peach-coloured chalk covering the original work. The news station highlighted the words for viewers after showing a picture of the student’s art.
The parent told KPRC 2 that the incident could have been an “opportunity to have a productive conversation” between students and the teacher, but instead, the “kids felt ridiculed and less than”.
In a video of the incident, sent to the news station, the teacher allegedly claimed the student’s “sign is as bad as mine”. She said the students “don’t have to fly the flags” if “this is an inappropriate plate” since “nobody’s flying these flags at school”. The teacher added: “You all put yours on the sidewalk and offended me so now I’m gonna offend you, but did that fix anything?”
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Cholly Oglesby, the principal of Sartartia Middle School, sent an email to parents saying the school had been “made aware of an unfortunate incident” involved the LGBT+ Pride artwork which left students “feeling disrespected and marginalised”. The email, which was provided to KPRC 2, added the school was “extremely disheartened to hear about these allegations” from the community.
It continued: “It is my sincere goal to always maintain an atmosphere of honour, inclusion, support and respect on our campus. Diversity in our community is to be met with a sense of mutual acknowledgment, understanding and tolerance.
“I insist that campus leaders, classroom teachers and students exhibit and model this type of behaviour without exception.
“We are exploring opportunities to have a campus-wide event to [dialogue] and foster better understanding, respect and a healthy co-existence for all members of the Sartartia Middle School community.”
The Fort Bend Independent School District later released a statement on the incident that mostly repeated Oglesby’s email word-for-word. It added that the issue “involves a personnel matter”, and the district “cannot comment further”.