Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association (NEA) teachers’ union, recently interviewed a fired teacher in Georgia about alleged “classroom censorship” taking place in public schools.
Katie Rinderle was fired from her public school teaching job on August 17 when the school district’s board voted 4-3 to terminate her contract. AIA previously reported about her case, where the school district claimed Rinderle ran afoul of Georgia’s recent law banning divisive content in school when she read a gender identity picture book, “My Shadow is Purple,” to her students.
Pringle interviewed Rinderle on the NEA’s Instagram account via Instagram Reels, which is a livestream feature for the social media platform.
Rinderle recounted her side of the story and how she found the picture book in a school book fair. She claimed that her fifth-grade students chose the picture book for her to read in her class, after which a parent complained to the school about the book’s content.
Pringle said that Rinderle is an active member of NEA and said that the union jumped in right away to help Rinderle. “You have a large family now,” Pringle said.
“My membership… has had a large support system,” Rinderle said, “This collective group that is sitting behind you – this is obviously a life-changing type of situation that I’ve been in.”
Rinderle also mentioned she received support from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is a controversial left-wing group that treats conservative groups as “hate” groups.
The former teacher told Pringle that her experience is an example of “an assault” on public education and on the freedom of teachers. She added, “We should be providing an inclusive, truthful education” to students.
The NEA’s Instagram account wrote the following description of the interview:
“Our job is to empower.” No one could say it better than Katie, a Georgia teacher who was fired for reading a book to her students that she found at her school’s book fair. NEA President Becky Pringle had a powerful conversation with Katie about teaching diversity and speaking out against classroom censorship.
But the NEA’s description does not address how parents are objecting to what they perceive as indoctrination in classrooms, which is a far different narrative than alleged classroom censorship. Also, the NEA failed to address the issue that teachers should follow the law and the curriculum set by their school district, not their own political opinions.
You can see the interview for yourself below:
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