A teacher in California has found herself in the cross-hairs of an official investigation after the uncovering of videos of her detailing the removal of the American flag from her classroom. In one of the videos, she stated that she told one student that he could instead just pledge allegiance to a gay pride flag instead.
The teacher in question, who has been identified as Kirsten Pitzen by those over at Fox News, is a teacher in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District out in Orange County, California. She talked about her approach to the Pledge of Allegiance during her class in a TikTok video that has now gone viral.
In the aforementioned video, she stated that she lets her students make up their own minds about whether they want to stand or recite the pledge at all
“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. It used to be there,” she stated while pointing to the wall of the classroom. “But I took it down during Covid because it made me uncomfortable. I packed it away, and I don’t know where. I haven’t found it yet.”
She explains in one video that at some point a student talked to her about how strange it was that the class just stood and had no flag to look at during the pledge, and between bouts of laughter, Pitzen stated that she told him that she was “working on it.”
“In the meantime, I tell this kid, we do have a flag in the class that you can ‘pledge your allegiance to,” Pitzen stated while pointing to a pride flag that she displayed on her wall. Earlier on in the video, she did a small tour of her classroom and showed the copious and various rainbow flags she had put up to celebrate Pride Month, going on to say at one point, “I pledge allegiance to the queers.”
This past Saturday in an announcement posted on its Facebook page, the New-Mesa Unified School District stated that it had started an investigation into the videos.
“On Friday evening, one of our teachers created a personal social media post that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag. Showing respect for our nation’s flag is an important value our District instills in our students and is an expectation of our employees,” posted the school district. “We take this matter seriously and are investigating and addressing it.”
A spokesperson from the school district issued a statement to the New York Post that they were “taking action to address it.” The videos themselves have suddenly, and mysteriously, disappeared off of Pitzem’s TikTok account.