Pupils at a school in Texas were left shocked and angry after their teacher deliberately defaced pictures they had drawn on the pavement.
A parent of one of the students at Sartartia Middle School in Sugar Land explained that a supervising teacher suddenly approached the kids as they were doodling away during their free period.
She ordered them to erase their sketches and, when they refused, she “lost control”, the parent said.
“The teacher then threatened to pour a drink on the chalk art, and finally grabbed some chalk and wrote ‘heteros rule’ over the Pride flags,” they told NBC-affiliate KPRC 2.
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Following the incident, parents sent the local broadcaster a picture of the students’ artwork covered by the teacher’s homophobic statment written in peach-coloured chalk.
In footage of the confrontation the alleged teacher can be heard condemning the young people’s drawings saying: “Your sign is as bad as mine”.
She then continued: “You all put yours on the sidewalk and offended me so now I’m gonna offend you, but did that fix anything?”
As the dumbfounded pupils attempted to defend themselves, the woman then added: “The point was you don’t have to fly the flags if this is an inappropriate place. Because nobody’s flying these flags at school.”
Later, after demanding that the kids clean up the drawings she said: “I’m the adult, you’re a child, so listen to what this adult says and you won’t get in trouble.
“The words made it inappropriate. None of you can disappear and if you try me I’ll hunt you down and make it worse, okay? If you clean it up, we act like it never happened.”
The children’s scrawlings included the terms “bisexual,” “demi-sexual”, “lesbian”, “non-binary” and “ally”.
The teacher added during the clash: “The words were unnecessary. That’s what I said. Labels are unnecessary. I thought y’all heard that but you didn’t.”
The anonymous parent told the news station that the incident could have been an “opportunity to have a productive conversation” between students and the teacher, but instead, the “kids felt ridiculed” and belittled.
In the wake of the fall-out the school’s principal, Cholly Oglesby, emailed parents saying the school had been “made aware of an unfortunate incident” which left students “feeling disrespected and marginalised”.
The message, which was shared withKPRC 2, added that the school was “extremely disheartened to hear about these allegations” from the community.
Oglesby continued: “It is my sincere goal to always maintain an atmosphere of honour, inclusion, support and respect on our campus. Diversity in our community is to be met with a sense of mutual acknowledgment, understanding and tolerance.
“I insist that campus leaders, classroom teachers and students exhibit and model this type of behaviour without exception.
“We are exploring opportunities to have a campus-wide event to [...] foster better understanding, respect and a healthy co-existence for all members of the Sartartia Middle School community.”