A Southwest Florida teacher was fired after she said she answered questions about her sexuality. The school, however, says her contract was terminated for not following the curriculum.
Casey Scott of Cape Coral, Florida, claims her students at Trafalgar Middle School began asking questions in the classroom regarding her sexual orientation. She answered them and explained her sexual identity.
Scott, who is married to a man, identifies as pansexual. She told a local NBC affiliate that she explained to the students that pansexual refers to someone attracted to all categories of people regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
“I like anyone despite male, female, non-binary, transgender,” Scott told the students.
Following the discussion, Scott claims some students asked her if they could make art expressing their sexuality. She said she hung the pictures on her classroom door — an action that prompted school personnel to contact her.
“They said it would be in the best interest if I got rid of them now,” Scott said.
Scott said that she documented the removal and disposal of the art the students created. “I grabbed all their flags, and all the kids were staring at me. And I crumbled their flags in front of them,” she told local reporters.
The Lee School District said they had received complaints from parents concerned about the conversation and the artwork. The district said they had additional proof that Scoot revealed her sexuality and caused some confusion among students.
After the incident occurred, Scott was told her contract was being terminated, and she did not need to return to the school.
“A discussion happened in class, and because of that, now I’m fired,” she told news reporters at the Florida NBC affiliate.
The school district and the local teacher’s union both said that Scott was on a probationary period of employment and that she could rightfully be terminated at any time.
The Lee School District told the local NBC affiliate that Scott was terminated because she did not follow the mandated curriculum.
Scott’s termination occurred just before Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1557, officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, prohibiting Florida’s school system from teaching students in kindergarten through third grade about sexual orientation or gender identity.
Opponents have referred to the legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. They feel the restriction of the sexual subject matter at a young age may cause harm to children.
However, supporters of the bill, including its sponsor, Dennis Baxley, hold that these discussions should be the responsibility of a parent instead of educators.
“Some discussions are for [having] with your parents. And I think when you start having sexual-type discussions with children, you’re entering a very dangerous zone. Your awareness should pop up right away, this isn’t teaching,” said Baxley.