A veteran Georgia teacher was fired after reading a book about gender identity to her class of fifth graders.
Katie Rinderle, who has taught for 10 years, was reading the book “My Shadow Is Purple” to her students when parents complained. The book is about a non-binary character who doesn’t identify as either a boy or a girl.
The Cobb County School Board voted 4-3 to fire Rinderle, even though a panel of retired educators had recommended that she not be fired. The board said that Rinderle had violated district policies by discussing a “divisive concept” in the classroom.
Rinderle’s lawyer, Craig Goodmark, said that the board’s decision was “unfair” and “terrible for Georgia’s education system.” He said that Rinderle had been “trying to create a safe and inclusive classroom for all of her students.”
Some parents supported Rinderle’s firing, saying that they were concerned about the prospect of “radical ideas” being introduced to young children without their consent.
The school board’s decision is the latest in a series of moves by Republican-controlled state legislatures to restrict how teachers can discuss race, gender, and other topics in the classroom.