A Southern California, school teacher is "no longer in the classroom" after her internet post suggested students can pledge allegiance to the Pride flag instead of the stars and stripes, multiple news outlets are reporting.
Sources confirmed to the Daily Pilot newspaper that the teacher is Kristin Pitzen, who works at Back Bay High School in the Newport-Mesa Unified school district.
The news outlet said she posted a video on TikTok about removing the U.S. flag and suggested instead students pledge allegiance to the LGBTQ flag.
"We are aware that one of our teachers posted a video on their personal social media that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag," district officials said in a statement released Monday "Showing respect for our nation’s flag is an important value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees. The teacher is no longer in the classroom.
"We follow due process and our investigation continues."
The Pilot reported the video has since been deleted. But the newspaper said it appeared she was filming from inside her classroom.
"Okay, so during third period, we have announcements and they do the Pledge of Allegiance," Pitzen said in the video. "I always tell my class: stand if you feel like it. Don’t stand if you feel like it. Say the words if you want. You don’t have to say the words. So, my class decided to stand, but not say the words. Totally fine. Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag."
Pitzen then points to the corner of her classroom where the flag used to be located. She says she took down the flag while she was teaching during the pandemic, because it made her feel "uncomfortable."
"But, my kid today goes, ‘Hey, it’s kind of weird that we just stand and we say it to nothing.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh well, I gotta find it. I’m working on it. I got you,’" she says, before shaking her head no. "In the meantime, I tell this kid, ‘We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to.’"
"And he like, looks around and goes, ‘Oh, that one?’" Pitzen says.
The video then shows the rainbow Pride flag, according to the newspaper.
The video has sparked backlash from some parents and conservative figures. Some have called for Pitzen to be fired, according to NBC News.
Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence, asked on Twitter "What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko?" Attached to his post was a retweet of the video.
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