Chloe Bressack was supposed to teach math and science to elementary school children. Instead, parental outrage over the teacher’s non-binary identity caused administration to take Bressack out of the classroom.
In response to complaints about Bressack’s gender identity, the school’s administration moved the teacher out of the Canopy Oaks Elementary School classroom in Tallahassee into an adult class.
“Given the complexity of this issue, we both agreed a different environment would be best for Teacher Bressack’s educational career and for the young students at Canopy Oaks,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna, with the Leon County school district claiming the transfer to an adult classroom was a mutual decision.
It all started with a letter Bressack sent to parents. The informal letter set out information about the teacher, including personal experiences and a paragraph including a request to be addressed with gender neutral pronouns.
“One thing you should know about me is that I use gender neutral terms. My prefix is Mx (pronounced Mix),” they wrote. “My practice in addressing my students is to refer to them by their personal pronouns, be they ‘he, she, or they.’ We work together to create a positive environment of respect and understanding.”
They added: “I understand that students will not always address me in the way I prefer, and that is okay. We keep moving with a smile and continue on with our learning. In our classroom, our learning and our well-being is the priority. I am lucky to be teaching at Canopy Oaks and I look forward to working with my students this year.”
But the letter was not met with understanding. Instead, parents took to Facebook expressing outrage and gaining the attention of the media and right-wing organizations.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee even addresses his concern to the Washington Times (which misgenders Bressack in its coverage).
Ironically it appears Huckabee did address Bressack correctly in his attack on them appropriately using the pronoun “they.”
“I would yank my kid out of a classroom. I really would. There’s no way that I would let my child be influenced by someone who is so devoid of common sense that they don’t understand that there are men and women, boys and girls. I’m appalled by that,” he said. “I’m going to go back to a biblical standard — male and female. God created them. That’s just reality,” he told The Times. “We can try to pretend that there’s no difference in the gender, but there is. There’s a difference that is to be celebrated.”