Credit: Cobb County Board of Education (screenshot)
Cobb teacher loses job after close Board of Education vote
Georgia's Cobb County School Board of Education voted Thursday evening to disregard a decision to allow fifth-grade Due West Elementary teacher Katie Rinderle to keep her job.
Randy Scamihorn, David Chastain, David Banks and Brad Wheeler voted to reject last week's tribunal decision. Nichelle Davis, Leroy Tre’ Hutchins, and Becky Sayler voted to uphold the decision.
Prior to the vote, public comment included remarks from several teachers, students and parents. Speakers shared comments opposing teachers discussing topics like gender that some parents may consider controversial. Other parents and educators spoke about the importance of inclusivity in the classroom and supporting veteran teachers in their decisions.
Officials with the Cobb County School District had met last week in a termination hearing to determine if Rinderle violated Georgia’s new divisive concepts law. The tribunal ultimately ruled in Rinderle’s favor.
Lawyers for CCSD cross-examined Rinderle, who they argue violated school policy by reading a picture book about a child who challenges gender assumptions called My Shadow is Purple by Scott Stuart.
Georgia’s divisive concepts law passed on party lines in March of 2022. The bill places heavy restrictions on teachers discussing topics related to race and ethnicity and allows parents to question what is taught in the classroom.