California teacher, Kristin Pitzen posted a TikTok saying American flag made her ‘uncomfortable’.
She got her students to say the pledge to gay pride one she had hanging instead.
Kristin Pitzen, of Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, posted a video explaining the incident on TikTok, and has now been removed from the classroom as the school investigates.
In the video, she admitted she’d removed the American flag because it made her ‘uncomfortable’, and told her class to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the gay pride flag.
When one of her English class students pointed out the American flag was missing during the pledge, she told them to recite it to the rainbow one instead.
‘She has been removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave, as our investigation continues,’ said spokesperson Annette Franco according to Fox News.
Over the weekend, the Newport Mesa School District opened an investigation into the incident.
‘We are aware of this incident and are investigating. While we do not discuss employee related matters, we can tell you that showing respect and honor for our nation’s flag is a value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees,’ Franco said.
The TikTok video posted by the teacher has since gone viral, sparking a backlash from many parents who were angry she was teaching children to ‘disrespect’ the American flag.
‘How can the words “for liberty and justice for all” bring such hate in people? How can anyone have (an) issue with those words?’ one user replied.
Some even questioned why she lives in America, calling on the school to fire her and parents to homeschool their kids.
While others praised her, even going as far to say they wished she taught their own children.
In the controversial TikTok, Pitzen reveals that the Pledge of Allegiance is read during third-period announcements.
‘Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag,’ Pitzen added.
‘It used to be there,’ she said in the video as she pivots the camera and points to the wall in the front of the classroom.
‘But I took it down during Covid,’ she said, whispering that she did it ‘because it made me uncomfortable’.
She said she ‘packed it away’ but doesn’t know where, laughing in a way that implied otherwise, prompting the school district to open an investigation.
In the meantime, she told the student: ‘We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to.’
‘And he goes: ‘Oh, that one’?’ she added as she shows the gay pride flag hung in the classroom.
Not everyone disagreed with Pitzen, some praised her decision while others said they would have felt more comfortable pledging to the gay pride flag rather than the US one. ‘Reciting a pledge to any flag is cringe,’ one user commented.