Parents ask LCPS to discipline teacher for ‘anti-Christian’ post after Nashville shooting

Some parents are calling on the Loudoun County Public Schools Acting Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent to take disciplinary action against a teacher who posted a controversial illustration on social media following the deadly shooting at the Covenant School, a Nashville Presbyterian school.

The shooting claimed the lives of six people, including three nine-year-old children.

On Monday, police identified the shooter at the school as Audrey Elizabeth Hale, a Nashville resident. Chief John Drake said Hale identifies as transgender.

The Loudoun County teacher posted an illustration of murdered children and an adult inside a classroom while a woman and her daughter walked by the bloody scene. In the illustration, the woman tells her daughter to “look away Becky” from a picture of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Since then another Loudoun county teacher and another Fairfax county teacher have posted the image.

NPR reported Monday that a principal at Tallahassee Classical School in Florida stepped down after students in a sixth-grade art history class were taught and shown a picture of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Two parents were upset they did not receive a letter about the lesson and one parent complained about the nudity, equating it to pornographic material, NPR reports.

“This is frankly a disgusting display of a Loudoun County teacher using an unspeakable tragedy, a mass murder in a Christian school, to push a political agenda and mock parents who believe they are advocating for their children or are standing for their Christian values in opposing age-inappropriate sexually explicit books,” Elicia Brand told Acting Superintendent Daniel Smith and Deputy Superintendent Ashley Ellis in an email Thursday. “Parents are sickened and offended that an LCPS teacher, and one who works with our most vulnerable children, has enough hate in her heart to so brazenly post on social media a graphic and morbid image depicting children murdered in school to harass parents.”

Brand called for the teacher’s termination or suspension without pay “until we know she is mentally well and does not pose a threat to students, parents or teachers.”

“I urge you to take this matter seriously and address this incident with her and communicate appropriately with the entire school community,” Brand told Smith and Ellis. “This image has deeply wounded all who have seen it and know we have a teacher in our schools who so brazenly shows her disdain for parents and Christians.”

In a statement to 7News, an LCPS spokesperson said the school system is aware of the social media post.

7News asked if LCPS approves of teachers and employees posting images like this on social media.

“LCPS expects all staff, as public employees, to recognize that they are in a position of public trust and are held to the highest standard of personal and professional conduct, serving as role models, influencing and shaping young lives, and representing the school division. In addition, public employees, including school employees, have a First Amendment right to weigh in on matters of public concern and post content on their personal social media pages as long as this speech does not disrupt school operations or otherwise adversely impact the employee’s ability to perform their duties,” an LCPS spokesperson responded in a statement.

“LCPS put LCPS employee Tanner Cross on leave for not agreeing to refer to transgender students by their preferred gender pronouns because he said it was against his religious beliefs. Is LCPS going to put [the Loudoun County teacher who posted a controversial image] on leave or take other disciplinary actions for her conduct?” 7News Reporter Nick Minock asked the LCPS Acting Superintendent.

“It is the practice of Loudoun County Public Schools not to comment publicly on employee disciplinary matters,” an LCPS spokesperson responded.

“We do appreciate parents and other stakeholders reaching out to us when they have questions or concerns,” the LCPS spokesperson added. “We remain committed to fostering those beneficial lines of communication and hope to continue the practice moving forward.”

On Thursday, the acting Superintendent will meet with community members at Trailside Middle School at 7:00 pm.

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