A teacher has been fired from the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona because of her faith-based bigotry against a transgender student, according to the East Valley Tribune. It wasn’t her only act of hate.
Annella Krom (above) was an art teacher at Arizona College Prep Erie Campus, at least until word got out about what she did in the classroom. Despite her personal website saying she “encourage[d] conversation and respectful discussion,” students described a teacher who used class time to proselytize and punished students who didn’t fit her narrow Christian views when it came to sexual orientation or gender identity. (She referred to gay people as “just confused.” She refused to use proper pronouns with trans kids. She handed out bibles in class.)
The tipping point came when a transgender student asked her if they could do a project on their personal journey. The request didn’t go over well. Krom rejected the suggestion because it violated her Christian beliefs.
In an email, Krom told the principal she does not condone the LGBTQ lifestyle and won’t assist in creating artwork that glorifies it, the report said.
“Either this topic is the priority or the word of God is,” the teacher allegedly wrote.
Krom gave the student zero out of a possible 50 points for the project, telling the principal that a higher grade would violate her conscience.
The student later asked to switch teachers. Meanwhile, the district said that Krom’s act of discrimination violated her own contract, and they placed her on administrative leave. She had two weeks to appeal the decision but chose not to for unknown reasons. Given all the evidence, the board has now decided that firing her — even in the middle of a school year — is best for everyone involved.
The report regarding her conduct lists additional violations of the law — including an instance of her lowering the grade of a student who was openly non-religious.
One student told administrators Krom questioned their pro-choice beliefs regarding abortion, gave the student a Bible, and encouraged the student to rethink their morals.
The same student alleged that shortly after telling Krom they were agnostic or an atheist, the teacher lowered their grade on an assignment without explanation.
“Student reasonably believes the change in her grading was the result of discrimination by teacher,” the district’s report states.
The action against a trans student may have been the tipping point, but Krom had no shortage of incidents any one of which could have been cause for discipline. If the allegations are accurate — and Krom has yet to publicly refute the charges — then firing her was the only option.
It’s a miracle she lasted this long. She has no business pushing her religious bigotry on students in a public school. If her goal is to make kids feel awful for being who they are, she can work at a church like the rest of her kind.
It’s also shocking to me that she taught art, a subject where self-expression and breaking with tradition is commonplace. Instead of encouraging students to be the best versions of themselves, she apparently demanded they join her Christian bubble. Thank goodness it didn’t work.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)