School board votes to fire teacher who read book on gender identity to Georgia fifth-graders
Story by By Jamiel Lynch, CNN
My Shadow is Purple,” written by Scott Stuart, describes itself as a “heartwarming and inspiring book about being true to yourself.” Publisher Larrikin House says the story “considers gender beyond binary in a vibrant spectrum of colour.”
The Cobb County board voted 4-3 Thursday to terminate the contract of Katherine Rinderle, disagreeing with the recommendation of a panel of retired county educators. She was removed from her classroom in March after a parent complained she’d read “My Shadow is Purple” to her class, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represents her.
The district has claimed Rinderle in reading the book violated at least six of its policies and administrative rules, including two based on 2022 Georgia laws that restrict instruction of “divisive concepts” and provide greater transparency to parents and guardians in what their children are taught, according to a charge letter from the district reviewed by CNN.
The Georgia laws are part of a broader effort by conservative lawmakers across US states to limit how topics such as sexual orientation, gender identity and race are handled in schools.
“I am disappointed in the district’s decision to terminate me for reading an inclusive and affirming book – one that is representative of diverse student identities,” Rinderle said after Thursday’s vote in a statement released by the law center.
READ ALOUD: My Shadow is Purple by Scott Stuart
A heartwarming and inspiring rhyming realistic fiction text about being true to yourself and moving beyond the gender binary. By best-selling children's book creator Scott Stuart.