Conservatives freaked out after a teacher in Orange County, California posted a TikTok video in which she recounted jokingly telling a student to pledge allegiance to a progress Pride flag inside of her classroom. The school district has since said it is investigating the incident.
Kristin Pitzen, an English-as-a-second-language teacher Newport Mesa School District, posted the video on her since-deleted TikTok account, @mrsgillingswort. It began with her saying, “Okay, so during third period, we have announcements and they do the Pledge of Allegiance.”
“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, don’t have to say the words. So, my class decided to stand but not say the words. Totally fine,” she said.
“Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag. It used to be there, but I Tok it down during COVID because,” she whispered, “it made me uncomfortable.”
“And I packed it away and I don’t know where, and I haven’t found it yet,” she laughed. “But my kid today goes, ‘Hey, it’s kind of weird that we don’t stand and, y’know, we say it to nothing. And I was like, ‘Oh well, I gotta find it. I’m working on it. I’ve got you.'”
She then made a moue at the camera, waved her hand in front her face dismissively and giggled into her hand.
“In the meantime, I tell this kid. We do have a flag in the class which you can pledge your allegiance to. And he looks around, and he goes, ‘Oh. That one?'” She then turned the camera to the “Quasar progress Pride” flag hanging in her room.
Teacher mocks the American Flag and suggests to students they can say the Pledge of Allegiance to the pride flag: pic.twitter.com/1QTS5xjPln
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 27, 2021
While the teacher was just telling a lighthearted joke, conservatives took it quite seriously. One commenter called her an indoctrinator with an “ungodly social agenda.” Others mentioned how the video proves that the country is in “shambles” and that public education should be abolished.
Many others agreed that pledging allegiance to any piece of cloth is “creepy.” Students have only been required to do so since 1892.
Even Richard Grenell, the former Acting Director of National Intelligence and U.S. Ambassador to Germany under Republican former President Donald Trump, tweeted, “What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko? Why are parents turning their kids over to someone they don’t know? I’d like to talk to people who think this is good?!?”
He may not realize that most parents don’t intimately know their children’s teachers when their kids start classes each new academic year.
What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko?
Why are parents turning their kids over to someone they don’t know?
I’d like to talk to people who think this is good?!? https://t.co/VnNxeBWLjA
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 28, 2021
Conservative commenters began contacting the school district and leaving comments on its Facebook page about her video.
The Newport Mesa School District wrote on its Facebook page, “On Friday evening, one of our teachers created a personal social media post that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag. Showing respect for our nation’s flag is an important value our district instills in our students and is an expectation of our employees. We take this matter seriously and are investigating and addressing it.”
The issue of even displaying the Pride flag in a classroom has become quite alarming to conservatives. So much so that a school district in Oregon banned teachers from displaying them and another district in Indiana is considering banning them as “controversial.”