Yesterday (May 5), reports began to surface online that a middle school teacher in Cape Coral, Florida had been fired after allegedly instructing her young students to participate in an assignment about gender identity.
The art teacher, Casey Scott, said, ”A discussion happened in class and because of that, now I’m fired.”
According to Scott, several of her students had previously come out to her and disclosed their sexual orientation. “A lot of the kids came up to me like, ‘Oh, well, I’m non-binary‘ and a couple of kids said, ‘Oh, well, I’m bi.’ One kid said they’re gay,” she said.
Scott told her students that she was pansexual.
She proceeded to have the kids share their preferences by drawing Pride flags depicting how they identify, reportedly because they had already been expressive about their sexuality.
After the students had drawn their Pride flags, Scott decorated her classroom door with their artwork. Scott revealed that once the artwork was hung, the pictures began to draw a great deal of negative attention from faculty and staff who saw the pictures while walking through the hallways. The teacher says that her colleagues recommended that she take the artwork down.
“I went over to the recycling bin. I grabbed all their flags and all the kids were staring at me, and I crumbled their flags in front of them,” Scott said.
Scott was then sent home. Next, administrators at the Lee County School District notified the art teacher that her contract was being terminated. The district said that Scott went against her required curriculum teachings.
The teacher did an interview with a local NBC affiliate where she expressed that her young students were upset about her firing and supported her views. The school district fired back, saying that parents saw the assignment and discussion as inappropriate.
A current Florida bill prohibits these types of discussions in classrooms for children between the grades of pre-K through third.
Although Scott taught middle schoolers, Kevin Daly of the Lee County Teachers Union said Scott’s firing was justified because she was still in a probationary period.