News (USA)

A teacher was fired for discussing gay bears with high school students

The International Bear Brotherhood flag
The International Bear Brotherhood flag Photo: Fibonacci/Wikipedia Commons

A South Carolina teacher was fired for distributing an article on gay bear subculture to students in her class.

Local Fox affiliate WHNS reports that the teacher at Dorman High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina’s School District 6 handed out an article on the International Bear Brotherhood to students in her 10th-grade class on April 14.

After they were informed of the incident, school district officials said they met with the teacher. During that meeting, the teacher reportedly said that she distributed the unapproved article about the LGBTQ+ subculture to facilitate discussion in class and that it was her personal decision to give students the material. Following the meeting, the teacher was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. She was later fired.

The school district noted that the teacher had attended a recent meeting reminding teachers that all potentially questionable lessons and materials should be approved.

In February 2020, a coalition of LGBTQ+ organizations filed a lawsuit to stop South Carolina from enforcing a 1988 law that bans schools from discussing “alternate sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships,” specifically “homosexual relationships.” The following month, the state settled the suit, agreeing not to enforce the law any longer.

In his consent decree, Judge David Norton ordered the state’s superintendent of education to circulate a memo to all school districts informing them that the law should no longer be taken into consideration when deciding curriculum.

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