Idaho’s Teacher of the Year fled the state after conservative parents attacked her for being an LGBTQ+ ally – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Idaho’s Teacher of the Year fled the state after conservative parents attacked her for being an LGBTQ+ ally

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An Idaho Teacher of the Year says she fled the state after conservatives and parents attacked her.
She said she was harassed for her support for the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter.
The teacher told The Boston Globe teachers are leaving the job because they don’t feel valued.

An Idaho Teacher of the Year says she left the job and state after far-right media outlets and conservative parents attacked her for her support of the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter. 

Karen Lauritzen, 44, told The Boston Globe she was named 2023 Idaho Teacher of the Year last September and started the school year with high hopes. Now, she’s no longer teaching fourth grade or even in Idaho. Instead, she teaches at a university in Illinois. 

“I should have felt celebrated and should have felt like this is a great year, and honestly it was one of the toughest years I have ever had teaching, not only with my community but with parents questioning every decision I made as well,” Lauritzen told the Globe.

Neither Lauritzen’s former school district in Post Falls, Idaho, nor Lauritzen’s former union in Idaho immediately responded to Insider’s requests for comment. 

The Boston Globe reported that Lauritzen was accused by conservative media outlets of being a “left-wing activist” for her personal views, which included support for the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter. Far-right extremists, including parents of students, baselessly accused her of teaching inappropriate content, Lauritzen added.

In September 2022, shortly after Lauritzen was named Teacher of the Year, the local conservative website Idaho Tribune wrote about Lauritzen, saying she “promotes LGBT events, promotes transgenderism, Black Lives Matter, and is active in local politics, promoting liberal ideology.” The article questioned if Idaho was “even a Conservative State.”

“Even if I have certain beliefs myself, that does not mean that I teach kids. It’s not my job to ‘indoctrinate’ or make kids little versions of myself. It’s to make kids into the best versions of themselves,” Lauritzen told the Globe. 

Far-right extremists have increasingly targeted teachers in recent years, prompting outrage and mass departures from the profession. Nearly half of one Colorado school district’s high school teachers left this year after the school board was taken over by Trump-supporting members who enacted several conservative policies. 

Florida, in particular, has been the site of controversial anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that removes lessons on gender and sexuality from the classroom, preventing some students from taking the nationwide College Board AP curriculum. In some cases, public universities have shut down entire gender and sexuality departments, while some Florida students need their parent’s permission to use nicknames or preferred names in school. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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