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Education

Teacher under investigation for lessons on LGBT+ rights and Black Lives Matter

Patrick Kelleher September 3, 2021
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An eraser against a blackboard covered in smeared chalk

A teacher is under investigation over her pro-LGBT+ lessons. (Envato Elements)

A trailblazing teacher who gives children lessons on LGBT+ rights and Black Lives Matter is being investigated by her school district over her inclusive approach to education.

The third grade teacher works at the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. In her spare time, she runs a popular TikTok channel where she teaches young people about social justice issues.

The teacher – who PinkNews has decided not to name – is now under investigation from her school district after a right-wing Twitter account shared her pro-LGBT+ content.

The incendiary account, which was set up exclusively to mock and denigrate “liberal” content on TikTok, shared a number of the teacher’s videos and accused her of “indoctrinating” children.

In one of the clips shared by the right-wing Twitter account, the teacher runs through a list of LGBT+ inclusive books she has brought into her classroom to foster understanding of queer identities.

In a second video, originally posted during Pride Month, she educates young people watching at home about the origins of the Pride movement.

She also discusses racial justice on her TikTok account. In one clip, she tells viewers: “Let’s discuss something because it needs to continue to be talked about: if you don’t think white supremacy and white privilege exists, check yourself. That’s all.”

Pro-LGBT+ elementary school teacher’s LinkedIn profile was posted online

The anonymous right-wing Twitter account later unveiled the teacher’s full name in a screenshot of her LinkedIn profile. In the hours that followed, other social media users tagged her school district in tweets, urging them to investigate the third-grade teacher for her inclusive lessons.

Since the furore erupted, the teacher has put her TikTok account on private. She is now facing into an investigation led by the school district.

Glen Ellyn District 41, which has five Illinois schools under its remit, told NBC Chicago that it has received numerous emails and calls from parents over the controversy.

“District 41 has become aware of social media posts by a staff member that have surfaced overnight,” a spokesperson said. “The district is aware of these posts and is in the midst of an investigation in collaboration with our legal counsel.”

Jennifer Huard, a parent whose child attends Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, told NBC Chicago that she supports the teacher’s lessons.

“Representation matters. These kids need to see their lives represented in the classroom as well,” Huard said.

“It’s not just a mom and dad or a white family or whatever it is. It’s really everything nowadays.”

She said the teacher has been targeted with hateful messages over her pro-LGBT+ messages, adding that some of the backlash is coming from outside the school community.

PinkNews has contacted the school district for comment.

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