If there’s one thing Republicans are focusing on during a global pandemic, it’s erasing LGBTQ+ youth. How so? In addition to pushing hateful, discriminatory legislation at the state level, conservatives are coming out with force to try and dismantle any veneer of acceptance and inclusion in public schools. That’s the root cause of book bans, for example, as well as the hysteria about critical race theory (CRT), and of course, the infamous Don't Say Gay bills.
According to Tammy Tiber, who taught for more than 30 years, she showed some LGBTQ+ Pride videos to her third graders last year. Tiber, who was working at a public school in Glendale, California, said showing videos and talking about Pride Month during last year’s Pride Month wasn’t an issue until Jordan Henry, who is running for Glendale City Council, stirred hysteria about them nearly a year after the fact, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Now Tiber says she’s receiving threats and feels like she’s at the center of a “witch hunt.”
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Henry, mind you, didn’t find out about the lesson because they had a student in Tiber’s class. No, they apparently sought out public records including emails that pertained to social justice, anti-bias education, and restorative justice in lesson plans in the district. Amid the thousands of documents were emails between Tiber and a curriculum adviser.
At the time, Tiber wrote to the adviser that they’d discussed Pride month with their students and showed them two YouTube videos meant for kids. This lesson took place remotely and apparently a parent overheard the lesson and removed her child from the lesson. The parent allegedly texted Tiber asking to be told when they were done discussing sexual orientation so she could allow her student back into the class.
“I was planning on doing more lessons tomorrow and Wednesday,” Tiber wrote in the email. “But now I’m afraid to. Here are the videos and lessons I was going to do with my class.”
It’s unclear which videos Tiber showed to her class and which ones she was planning to show them, but the email includes four videos total. The adviser ultimately told her three out of the four videos were appropriate and to reconsider using one called “Talking to Kids About Pride Month,” which mentions coming out of the closet. Again, it’s still unclear whether that particular video was actually shown to students or not, and the school district is reportedly investigating that as of now.
As of April, however, the above email has gone viral on social media among exactly the sort of crowd you’d imagine freaking out about it.
And now? Tiber has been “temporarily” transferred to a different school, and while the district told the Times this was not a disciplinary move, Tiber feels like it was, and said the change was not voluntary on her part. She also alleges she’s gotten threats, including on the phone, where the speaker compared her to the “devil” and said she’s going to “get what’s coming” to her, and suggested a “mob” would be outside of her house.
Speaking at a recent school board meeting, Tiber said she was simply trying to offer a “safe space” in her classroom and teach her students about love and acceptance. But at the end of the day, her life has been “turned upside down.”
Parents at the school board meeting said they felt the lesson was “pushing political ideology” onto “impressionable” children and described it as “inappropriate” and “out of the scope” of the curriculum. Again, no surprises here: There is absolutely nothing inappropriate about LGBTQ+ identities, histories, or people, but conservatives are happy to freak out about anything that makes them remotely uncomfortable. They could be teaching their kids tolerance, but hate is a lot easier if they want to keep them voting red, so …
You can watch a bit from a recent school board meeting about the situation below, including Tiber and her family members speaking.
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