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Picture Book About Gender Identity Got a Georgia Teacher Fired. Now She's Suing

Started by Jessica_Rose, February 16, 2024, 05:33:57 AM

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A Picture Book About Gender Identity Got a Georgia Teacher Fired. Now She's Suing

Story by Samantha Riedel

The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and two individual teachers are suing Cobb County School District, arguing that administrators unconstitutionally used "vague censorship policies" to fire one of them for supporting LGBTQ+ students.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Northern District of Georgia, alleges that CCSD and nine of its officials improperly fired teacher Katherine Rinderle after she read My Shadow is Purple, a picture book about a gender-nonconforming child, to her elementary school class in 2023. The district used newly adopted policies that ban "divisive," "controversial," and "sensitive" topics to quickly fire Rinderle last spring, the suit claims, even though administrators never actually defined what an inappropriately "sensitive" topic might be.

"The school board's decision to fire me undermines students' freedom to learn and teachers' ability to teach," Rinderle said in a press release announcing the lawsuit Tuesday. "Many CCSD educators, including Ms. Grimmke and I, are committed to creating inclusive, diverse and empowering environments free from discrimination and harm, ensuring LGBTQ+ students feel safe, affirmed, and centered in their learning journey, because that is what our children deserve."

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