A teacher at a Houston-area school is under investigation for allegedly defacing LGBTQ+ chalk drawings.
Students at Sartartia Middle School in Fort Bend, Texas, say they were drawing a variety of LGBTQ+ Pride flags in chalk during a free period, when the supervising instructor approached and directed them to erase them.
According to a parent's account to KPRC TV, a local NBC affiliate, the students refused. And in response, the teacher "threatened to pour a drink on the chalk art." Instead, the supervisor took a piece of peach-colored chalk and wrote "Heteros Rule" in all caps over the flags.
In video recordings taken by the students, an adult voice can be heard threatening the students. "Your sign is as bad as mine," the voice said. "You all put yours on the sidewalk and offended me, so now I'm gonna offend you."
"None of you can disappear and if you try me I'll hunt you down and make it worse. OK? If you clean it up, we act like it never happened," the voice said in another clip.
In addition to the Pride flags, the students had also written different LGBTQ+ labels, including bisexual, demisexual, nonbinary, lesbian, and ally, which the teacher also took offense at and demanded the erasure of.
Both parents and students were disturbed by these actions.
"This was an opportunity to have a productive conversation. Instead, the kids felt ridiculed and less than and honestly, afraid because the teacher lost control," one parent told the outlet.
After the incident, the principal of Sartartia Middle School, Cholly Oglesby, sent an email to parents saying they were "disheartened" by the incident and promised to plan a "campus-wide event to dialog and foster better understanding, respect, and a healthy co-existence for all members of the Sartartia Middle School community."
A spokesperson from the Fort Bend Independent School District sent a statement to KPRC confirming that the incident was under investigation. "The District requires that an atmosphere of honor, inclusion, support and respect be fostered on all our campuses," the statement read. "As the issue involves a personnel matter, we cannot comment further."