Teacher Hurt After Mad Parents Outraged She Came Out To Her Students
A Michigan teacher is hurt that parents are upset with her for coming out as bisexual to her high school students.
Gender identity has been a major hot-button issue in public schools across the nation. It has become so controversial that a number of states have either passed legislation or are in the process of moving forward with laws that could prohibit teaching or even discussing this topic. One Michigan teacher recently came out to her high school students only to be faced with the wrath of their parents.
Anna Dietrich is a Michigan teacher at Grand Blanc High School. She is a first-year teacher who teaches ninth- and tenth-grade English. After coming out to her class as bisexual, she received phone calls that only left her sad. “I envy the teachers who don’t have to hide their identity in class,” she wrote on her Twitter account. Her social media handle has since been made private.
The Michigan teacher then went on to explain just what prompted her decision to out herself. “When students asked me today if I had a husband, I answered that I as a bisexual person, do not have a husband or a wife yet! I got calls from 3 parents unhappy,” she said. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be on board with how Dietrich handled her situation.
Dietrich, who goes by the Twitter handle of MsAnnaDietrich and uses she/they pronouns, then went on to post a picture of an email she received from one of her students. In it, the student thanked the Michigan teacher for discussing her sexual orientation during class. Dietrich said getting that email made the parents’ complaint “worth it” because of the nature of the email. In it, the student explained that they are uncomfortable sharing their gender identity to include preferred pronouns in other classes at the school. The student said Dietrich’s class made them feel much more at ease.
Dietrich then expressed her feelings in a follow-up tweet. “If anyone has any similar struggles/reactions to being out and proud to students I would love to hear,” Dietrich wrote. “Really hurting today and feeling alone in this.” The Michigan teacher then spoke to Fox News about how some parents feel her approach in talking to her students about her sexual preferences was inappropriate.
“My only comment is that these conversations are of course for families to have with their children, but also that it is okay for students and professionals to not hide who they are in any space,” the Michigan teacher said to Fox News. “It is important to note that the context of this conversation occurred after several students asked me if I had a husband.”
The Michigan teacher then went on to explain how she saw the broaching of the subject as a great opportunity to teach her students about inclusive language with those they may not be too familiar with. She explained that her conversation with her students was not about sexuality, but more pointed to the different identities seen throughout the world. She wanted to show them how to respectfully discuss people’s lives as they navigate their own life.
Upsetting the apple cart was not Dietrich’s intent, but that is exactly what happened. Gender identity has been one of the main topics of conversation regarding public education, to go along with critical race theory. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis just signed into law the Parental Rights in Education bill that will allow parents more say so as to what type of teaching goes on in public schools. The bill’s aim is to remove teaching gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. The bill also prohibits these teachings that are not age-appropriate. Because of this and how it was worded, the bill took on the moniker of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The teaching of gender identity slope is a slippery one and only getting slicker. Is Gov. DeSantis on to something with his Parental Rights in Education bill, one that a number of states are looking to duplicate, or was the Michigan teacher’s approach to her sexual orientation the appropriate way to go about it?