Nonbinary Teacher’s Outfit Sparks Dress Code Debate

A nonbinary teachers attire sparked a heated viral debate that poured into a packed school board meeting over dress codes.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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nonbinary teacher

The LGBTQ+ Community has been up in arms over treatment and policies regarding gender identity. In Florida, the recent passing of the Parental Rights in Education bill dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill by adversaries, has drawn national attention from proponents of LGBTQ+ rights. Now, the attention has gone a little north to the state of Louisiana, where a nonbinary teacher is going viral for a controversial reason.

Blaine Banghart is a music teacher at University Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana. To her students, she goes by MX Banghart. MX has grown in popularity as the gender-neutral alternative to Ms. Mrs. and Miss. The nonbinary teacher also isn’t afraid to express herself. 

The controversial story regarding the nonbinary teacher began on Tik Tok. In early January, Banghart posted a video that has since been made private. According to Yahoo, the teacher said they were not allowed to be out as trans nonbinary at work. “Do not come up in my comments saying I am because I’m not. I live in Louisiana and it sucks here.”

nonbinary teacher

Also in the Tik Tok video, the nonbinary teacher exclaimed that their response was to be “as obnoxiously queer as possible.” The video went viral and recently climbed to over 74 thousand views. It even got the attention of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who reportedly drew reference to the music teacher as a “cadre” of social justice activists looking to slip into the school system to “indoctrine” students with LGBTQ+ “crap.”

The social media debate regarding the nonbinary teachers spilled over from the internet and into a crowded Caddo Parish School Board meeting Tuesday night. Action regarding Banghart was not on the board’s agenda, but that didn’t stop attendee’s from commenting.  Heated arguments broke out as the discussion turned to the school’s dress code for educators. 

Pan Coke, who identified herself as a Caddo Parish grandparent was one of the meeting’s attendees who were upset with the nonbinary teacher’s actions. “I don’t want them being taught things I wouldn’t teach them at home about gender about sex,” said Coke. She went on to imply she doesn’t want to see anyone fired, she simply wanted to make sure the school board adhered strictly to their dress code policy. But she failed to connect how the teacher’s attire suggested her grandchild was being taught about gender identity. 

nonbinary teacher

Supporters in favor of the nonbinary teacher’s appearance were in full force Tuesday night as well. Advocates shouted that Banghart should be able to wear their colorful attire as they please, as long as they adhere to district guidelines. Other current students’ parents spoke up to praise their children’s love for the teacher. 

Other attendees didnt seem to have a strong opinion on whether or not the nonbinary teacher’s apparel was up to standards. Instead, they saw it as a distraction from pertinent school issues. A colleague to Banghart was in attendance and called the whole debate a distraction. Saying it was a “non-issue” she implied teacher’s pronouns, hair color, and bright attire don’t indicate how suitable someone is to be a teacher. 

The School Board decided to leave the issue in the hands of the elementary school where the nonbinary teacher works. Indicating no interest in bringing the matter to a dress code debate, they said they wouldn’t take any direct action, citing it as a “personnel issue.” As of now, the district nor the elementary school have made any public comment.