School board officials in Cobb County, Georgia, voted four to three on Thursday to fire a teacher who read a book to fifth graders about “moving beyond the gender binary.”
Katie Rinderle was a veteran teacher in the district who read the book titled “My Shadow is Purple” to the young students, WSB-TV reported Friday.
The firing happened after a tribunal proceeding where leaders discussed if she would retain or lose her instructor’s position.
“The tribunal determined that she did violate part of Georgia’s new divisive concepts law, but they recommended that she be able to keep her job,” the report said, adding Rinderle claimed the book was “appropriate” for the students because its main theme is about being true to oneself.
The book’s description on Amazon says it is “a heartwarming and inspiring book about being true to yourself and moving beyond the gender binary, by the bestselling author of My Shadow Is Pink.”
In March, a parent reportedly complained about the teacher reading the book to the children. Rinderle was then removed from her class.
According to Jeff Hubbard, who is president of Cobb County Association of Educators, the decision basically puts teachers on notice. He stated, “If you do anything that angers well-connected parents. Whether it’s intentional or not an investigation can be rushed against you and you can lose your job.”
The website Book Reviews by a Conservative Teacher recently highlighted the title, telling the site’s readers it “promotes the non-binary lifestyle and no child should read this book. I can’t imagine how confusing this nonsense would be for kids.”
One parent told 11 Alive, “I don’t want the teachers indoctrinating him. I want the parents to be parents and the teachers to teach. That’s it.”
In May 2022, a “pansexual” middle school art teacher in Florida claimed she was fired for talking about her sexual orientation with students, Breitbart News reported at the time, noting the students then made flags representing their sexuality and gender identities.
However, “The Lee County School District told local media sources that she was fired for failing to follow the mandated curriculum.”