Parents Demand Removal of Teacher who had Students Pledge Allegiance to the Pride Flag

Parents in local school districts are speaking up about issues they are seeing in their kids’ schools. In Orange County, CA, in the Newport-Mesa Unified School, a teacher is now on administrative leave after encouraging her students to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the pride flag. The teacher, whose name was leaked by reports, is Kristin Pitzen. She posted a now viral video of herself bragging about taking down her American flag during the pandemic. She laughs and tells the camera she doesn’t even know where it is and can’t find it.

In the video, Pitzen shares, “I always tell my class, stand if you feel like it, don’t stand if you feel like it, say the words if you want, you don’t have to say the words…So my class decided to stand but not say the words. Totally fine.” She went on to say that her school always recites the pledge after announcements during the third period of the day. She then whispers to the camera that she took down the American flag because it made her uncomfortable. She doesn’t elaborate on why she feels uncomfortable around the flag.

One of her students asks her about the lack of the U.S. flag and what exactly they should be pledging to if there is no flag. She tells the camera that she told that kid, “Oh well, you know, I gotta find it, like, I’m working on it, I got you,” when asked what they should pledge to. She then tells the kid that he and the class can pledge [their] allegiance to the pride flag she has hanging on her wall.

This wasn’t the first time this teacher has brought in her views about pride to her students. In a now-deleted video, Pitzen showed off how she decorated her classroom with rainbow pride flags. In her video, she said, “I pledge allegiance to the queers…I love you all very much—for the people who are out, who aren’t out. You’re appreciated. You’re loved. You’re enough. I support you. I got you.”

On Monday, parents in the district held a small rally outside the school to show support for the American flag. Parents displayed tiny red, white, and blue flags around the school sign in response to the teacher’s TikTok video. One parent, Stephanie Cox, said in response to the video, “Just super disgusted. I just could not believe how ignorant she seemed to be.” Upset parents urged the district to discipline the teacher.

The Newport Mesa School District responded by removing the teacher from the classroom and investigating the incident. District spokeswoman Annette Franco said, “We are aware that one of our teachers posted a video on their personal social media that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag. Showing respect for our nation’s flag is an important value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees.” The school district had no comment on what the teacher’s status will be in the future.

 

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