A Florida middle art teacher claims she was fired by her school district after speaking to her students about sexuality.
Casey Scott said that her students ended up drawing flags representing their own sexuality and that school leaders had her throw the images drawings, according to local TV station WBBH.
“A discussion happened in class and because of that, now I’m fired,” Scott told the outlet.
Her firing from Trafalgar Middle School in Cape Coral, Fla., came days before Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s “don’t say gay” law that restricts discussion of LGBTQ+ subjects in schools.
Scott said the conversation had focused on sexuality and that some students had asked about her sexual orientation. Scott told them she was pansexual. “I like anyone despite male, female, non-binary, transgender,” Scott explained. She told the class she was married to a man.
Some of the students ended up asking if they could draw flags representing their sexuality, she said. She then hung the drawings on her classroom door. It was then that school leaders contacted her.
“They said it would be in the best interest if I got rid of them now,” she told WBBH. “I went over to the recycling bin. I grabbed all their flags and all the kids were staring at me. And I crumbled their flags in front of them.”
After being sent home, school administrators called her and told her she had been terminated from her contract. She showed WBBH social media posts from students upset over the school’s decision.
The outlet asked how she felt about what happened. “Really ashamed, I guess, [and] disappointed because I feel like it’s all my fault and I was just being myself,” Scott said.
The Lee School District, however, showed WBBH complaints from parents about the conversation and artwork. And in written statements, some students said they were confused over the term pansexual.
A representative with the Teachers Union of Lee County told the outlet that Scott could legally be fired and she wasn’t part of the union. “During that probationary period they can let you go without cause,” Daly explained.
He also said this should serve as a warning to teachers in the state about discussing LGBTQ+ topics.
“There is kind of a heightened state of where is the boundary? And what are employees supposed to do? Or allowed to do, when a topic comes up in discussion,” he said.