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Community Education Government - Local National News

Teacher appeals firing over reading book to fifth graders


A Cobb County teacher, Katie Rinderle, who was dismissed for reading a book challenging gender norms to fifth graders is now appealing the decision made by the Georgia Board of Education to uphold her termination. Rinderle filed an appeal last week, seeking Cobb County Superior Court’s intervention to reverse her termination and clear her employment and disciplinary records of any negative actions.

The incident dates back to March 2023 when Rinderle, teaching at Due West Elementary, read “My Shadow is Purple” by Scott Stuart to her students. Subsequently, some parents expressed concerns to the school principal, asserting they were not adequately informed about the book’s content beforehand.

Throughout a two-day hearing and beyond, Rinderle maintained that the book aimed to promote inclusivity. However, in August, she was relieved of her duties, prompting her to file an appeal the following month.

In February, Rinderle, along with another Cobb teacher and the Georgia Association of Educators, filed a lawsuit accusing the state’s second-largest school district of discrimination. The lawsuit highlighted concerns regarding potential disciplinary actions against educators who openly support LGBTQ students under Cobb’s policies.

Despite these efforts, the Georgia Board of Education unanimously confirmed Rinderle’s firing in February.

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