(The Center Square) – Two teachers have been removed from their classroom after posting videos that violate school policy and were reported as offensive by parents and students.
One AP high school teacher, Gabriel Gipe, at Inderkum High School in Sacramento’s Natomas Unified School District, said in a secretly recorded video posted on Project Veritas' website, "I have 180 days to turn them [students] into revolutionaries," and to "Scare the f*** out of them" if they don’t conform, violating district policy.
Project Veritas is a conservative group that often makes secretly recorded videos of conversations with progressives and posts them to their website.
Another teacher, Kristin Pitzen of Orange County’s Newport Mesa School District, took down the U.S. flag from her classroom, preventing her students from being able to say the pledge of allegiance, violating district policy.
Gipe is recorded on video with flags of socialist leaders and an Antifa flag hanging in the background. Of the flag, he said, "I have an Antifa flag on my [classroom] wall and a student complained about that — he said it made him feel uncomfortable ... Well, this [Antifa flag] is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don't really know what to tell you. Maybe you shouldn't be aligning with the values that this [Antifa flag] is antithetical to."
In response, NUSD Superintendent Chris Evans sent a letter to the district community stating that Gipe had been removed from the classroom on paid leave and legal steps were being taken to fire him.
“Natomas Unified will be taking the legally required next steps to place the teacher on unpaid leave and fire the teacher,” the letter states. The district conducted an investigation and discovered that Gipe violated the district’s political action guidelines, “which are aligned with Board Policy and California Education Code.” The posters he put up also violated district policy, as well as using rubber stamps with images of Josef Stalin, Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Un and others, to mark students’ papers.
Pitzen was placed on administrative leave and removed from the classroom, after she posted a video on Tik Tok appearing to disparage the American flag.
Referring to the Pledge of Allegiance, Pitzen says in the video, "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 except for the fact that my room does not have a flag."
Pitzen says she removed the flag from her classroom because "it made me uncomfortable."
When asked by one of her students what flag to pledge allegiance to, she replied, "‘We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to.' And he like, looks around and goes, 'Oh, that one?'," pointing to Pride flag hanging on the wall.
A district spokeswoman told the Ocean County Register, that “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 school district’s policy requires each campus to display the American flag at the school entrance or on it the grounds. Each school must also hold daily “patriotic exercises,” which includes the Pledge of Allegiance. The policy allows for individual teachers and students to “choose not to participate in the flag salute for personal reasons.”
Newport-Mesa school board President Karen Yelsey told the Register she was “very disappointed, and I was outraged when I saw this, because it bothers me personally,” especially while 13 military service members were killed in Afghanistan, including four Californians.
These examples are not unique, The California Policy Institute argues. Instead, they “serve as harsh reminders that government unions of today are unrecognizable from unions of decades past. … Government unions, particularly teachers unions that are led by Gipe and his contemporaries, are little more than political organizations that use their taxpayer-funded platforms to advance an agenda that ultimately hurts the people they’re intended to serve.”
The center’s executive vice president, Lance Christensen, added, “Parents send their children off to their neighborhood public schools expecting them to receive an education and learn their civic duties, not be indoctrinated by extremist teachers pushing radical, personal agendas in the classroom.
Students deserve to be educated by one of the many teachers that are honest arbiters of information and honor the trust parents have placed in them by teaching students about our representative system of government that respects differing opinions, intense debate and the rule of law.”