A teacher in Texas has reportedly been placed on administrative leave after she allowed students to submit their pronouns and posted LGBT+ rights and Black Lives Matter images on her virtual classroom.
An image of Roma High School English teacher Taylor Lifka’s remote learning site was posted online Friday (August 21) by Marian Knowlton, a Republican candidate for Texas’ 31st district who took offence at her efforts to include trans students, women, students of colour and queer kids.
It shows an avatar of the teacher standing infront of posters advocating for Black Lives Matter and LGBT+ rights, among other human rights causes.
“Many of you know that I am concerned about what the children of Texas are learning in our schools,” Knowlton wrote.
The Republican said she had received the screenshot from a “concerned educator” shown it by a parent who had removed their child from Lifka’s English class.
Knowlton continued: “This is the virtual classroom that each student visits every day. They are welcomed by an LGBT ‘diversity is welcomed’ poster, a feminism poster that translates to ‘Girlfriend, your struggle is my struggle’, a photo of radical protesters (one of whom looks like an ANTIFA member) and propaganda that promotes the radical marxist movement ‘Black Lives Matter’.
“In addition, this teacher asks which pronoun they prefer! This is from a public school in one of the counties in House District 31!”
The Republican further sought to stir tensions by claiming: “Our education system has been radicalising our children for years and it continues to do so, from elementary through higher education. This is not an isolated occurrence, it is a national pattern.
“A concerted effort to teach children what to think, not how to think. Leftist indoctrination.”
According to The Monitor, Roma Independent School District (ISD) did not name Lifka, but said in a statement Tuesday (August 25): “After reviewing the complaints, the district is working closely with the teacher to find a resolution that will ensure all parties involved reach an outcome that best benefits the expectations of our parents and needs of our students.
“The teacher is not being reprimanded in any way for her work or decisions.”
However, a Change.org petition, which has now been signed by more than 15,000 people, is calling for the LGBT-inclusive Texas teacher to be reinstated.
The petition reads: “Please sign this petition to let the school district know that inclusivity and acceptance are not taboo ideas that deserve censorship; that high school students can and should be allowed to discuss the realities of the world instead of being sheltered inside a sanitised bubble; and that by reprimanding the teacher for trying to create a safe space for her students, the school is not being neutral, but is actively taking a stance that is antithetical to justice.”