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Annella Krom, art teacher at Arizona College Prep Erie Campus, has allegedly discriminated against a transgender student by refusing to allow an art project about the personal journey through transgenderism. The teacher also openly expressed her anti-LGBTQ views, freely discussed her Christian beliefs in class and brought a box of Bibles to her classroom. Because of repeated acts of bigotry and because of her conduct which was described as “objectionable, disrespectful, and unprofessional”, Chandler Unified School District fired the teacher. Krom had been teaching in Chandler for the last three years.
After Krom refused a transgender student and did not allow an art project, the student went to a counselor, who informed the school's principal. The principal advised Krom to accept the project because there was nothing objectionable with its topic but Krom told the principal that she won't assist in creating artwork that glorifies the LGBTQ lifestyle. She didn't accept the principal's advice and gave the student zero out of a possible 50 points for the project because it was against her beliefs and convictions.
The School District charged Krom with violating her contract that prohibits a teacher from discriminating against any coworker, student or parent based on gender or sexual orientation. The Chandler Unified Governing Board determined that there was good cause to dismiss Krom and place her on administrative leave and she was given 15 days to request a hearing to contest the district’s allegations before termination was considered, but she never sought one.
Besides her refusal to allow a transgender student's art project, Annella Krom conducted other acts of bigotry in classroom. For example, one student complained that she questioned their pro-choice beliefs regarding abortion, gave the student a Bible and encouraged the student to rethink their morals. Krom also lowered students' grade on an assignment without explanation shortly after students informed Krom they were agnostic or an atheist. It is reasonable to believe that the change in grading was the result of discrimination by teacher because of her religious beliefs.
The teacher also refused to call a transgender student by their preferred pronoun. According to Patheos, Madelain Adelman, an Arizona State University professor and board member for the Phoenix chapter of Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that aims to make schools more accepting of LGBTQ students, said that not acknowledging a student’s preferred pronoun can impact their emotional well-being.
At the end, after all that Krom has done, it is a wonder she was not fired earlier. Other teachers across the country have been dismissed under similar circumstances as Krom’s so The Chandler Unified Governing Board made the right decision.