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Utah Teacher Fired After Telling 5th-Graders “Homosexuality Is Wrong”

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  • When a substitute teacher in Utah asked a class of fifth-graders what they were thankful for the week before Thanksgiving, one 11-year-old said, “I’m thankful that I’m finally going to be adopted by my two dads.”
  • But that seemed to have upset the teacher, who went on to lecture the class and tell them “homosexuality is wrong.”
  • Three girls in the class repeatedly asked her to stop, then walked out of the room to complain to the principal. 
  • The teacher was fired from the school and the staffing agency that contracted her.

Thanksgiving Exercise About Gratitude Takes a Turn 

A substitute teacher in Utah was fired after allegedly telling a class of fifth-graders that “homosexuality is wrong.”

In a video recently posted on social media, former Dancing with the Stars pro Louis Van Amstel talked about the incident that happened in his 11-year-old son Daniel’s classroom. 

The week before Thanksgiving, the substitute asked students at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills what they were thankful for ahead of the holiday. Some said turkey and mashed potatoes, others said their pets or joked about not having to go to school over the break, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

But one boy had a more serious response. “I’m thankful that I’m finally going to be adopted by my two dads,” he told the class.

However, he was surprised when the substitute teachers’ response was, “Why on earth would you be happy about that?”

The instructor reportedly proceeded to lecture the 30 students about her views for about 10 minutes. Her rant allegedly included comments like “homosexuality is wrong” and “ two men living together is a sin.” She also reportedly looked at the boy and said: “That’s nothing to be thankful for.” 

According to Van Amstel, three girls in the class asked the teacher to stop multiple times. When she continued with her comments, they walked out of the room to complain to the principal. 

Teacher Fired 

The boy’s fathers were called immediately after the incident and were told by school officials that the teacher continued to argue about her views as she was escorted out of the building. 

“She also tried to blame out son and told him that it was his fault that she went off,” Van Amstel told The Tribune.

When question by the school, Van Amstel’s son said he didn’t want to talk about it or get the teacher in trouble. The school instead pieced together the story from other student accounts and fired the teacher.

Van Amstel explained that his son understood what the substitute was saying, but he decided not to speak up because he had gone through two failed adoptions before and was afraid of causing any trouble that would make his dads rethink their decision before their final court hearing on Dec. 19. 

“He was so fearful that this could make us think that we don’t want to adopt him,” Van Amstel told the paper. “That’s definitely not going to happen. But this situation really hurt him. This person really hurt us.”

Ultimately, Van Amstel said he was pleased with how the school immediately handled the situation. “I am so proud of Daniel’s school. Not only did they let go of the teacher, they said this woman is never going to teach in this school again,” he said in his social media video

In another post, he wrote, “I’m proud of those three girls and Daniel’s school for standing up for our family against this bully.” 


Daniels’s other father, Josh Van Amstel, also told local news station KSTU that the school principal, Caroline Knadler, is “wonderful” and has been “really amazing,” He added that she escorted the substitute out of the building herself, telling her: “There’s the door, keep walking.”

Alpine School District spokesperson David Stephenson noted that Alpine has a strict non-discrimination policy. “[We’re] committed to having the best employees who care about all children in our schools, whether it be the teacher, the custodian, the secretary or a substitute teacher,” he said. 

“Obviously, when situations come up like this, we quickly investigate and take appropriate action. That was done in this situation.”

However, he said he was unsure if the substitute would be allowed to work in the district moving forward and referred that question to Kelly Services, the staffing company the district uses to contract substitutes. 

The staffing company then issued a statement to several media outlets on Sunday saying, “We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate conduct and take these matters very seriously. We conducted an investigation and made the decision to end the employee’s relationship with Kelly Services.”

See what others are saying: (ABC News) (The Salt Lake Tribune) (People

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Conservatives Slam Elmo For Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19 

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While critics accused the muppet of promoting propaganda, CDC data shows the shots are safe and effective.


Elmo Gets Vaccinated 

Conservative politicians expressed outrage on Twitter after the beloved “Sesame Street” character Elmo revealed he got vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently cleared the way for children between the ages of six months and five years to get vaccinated against the virus. The famous red muppet is three years old, making him finally eligible for the jab. 

In a video shared by “Sesame Street,” Elmo said that he felt “a little pinch, but it was okay.” 

Elmo’s father, Louie, then addressed parents who might be apprehensive about vaccinating their own kids. 

“I had a lot of questions about Elmo getting the COVID vaccine,” he said to the camera. “Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice.” 

“I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors, and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love,” he continued. 

Republicans Criticize “Sesame Street”

While some praised the video for raising awareness and addressing the concerns parents may have, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) quickly lambasted the effort.

“Thanks, Sesame Street for saying parents are allowed to have questions,” Cruz tweeted. “You then have Elmo aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this.”

Despite Cruz’s claim, the CDC has provided ample resources with information on vaccines for children. 

He was not alone in criticizing the video. Harmeet Dhillon, a committeewoman of the Republican National Committee for California, suggested that Elmo would be taking puberty blockers next. 

Other anti-vaxxers claimed Elmo would get myocarditis and accused “Sesame Street” of promoting propaganda.

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be both safe and effective against transmission of the virus, but this is not the first time conservatives have turned their anger against a friendly-looking muppet who opted to get the jab. When Big Bird got vaccinated in November, Cruz and other right-wing figures accused the show of brainwashing kids.

Big Bird’s choice to get vaccinated was not a shocker though, clips dating back to 1972 show him getting immunized against the measles. 

See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hill) (Market Watch)

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Uvalde Puts Police Chief on Leave, Tries to Kick Him Off City Council

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If Pete Arredondo fails to attend two more consecutive city council meetings, then he may be voted out of office.


Police Chief Faces Public Fury

Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was placed on administrative leave Wednesday following revelations that he and his officers did not engage the shooter at Robb Elementary for over an hour despite having adequate weaponry and protection.

Superintendent Hal Harrell, who made the announcement, did not specify whether the leave is paid or unpaid.

Harrell said in a statement that the school district would have waited for an investigation to conclude before making any personnel decisions, but chose to order the administrative leave because it is uncertain how long the investigation will take.

Lieutenant Mike Hernandez, the second in command at the police department, will assume Arredondo’s duties.

In an interview with The Texas Tribune earlier this month, Arredondo said he did not consider himself in charge during the shooting, but law enforcement records reviewed by the outlet indicate that he gave orders at the scene.

Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told state senators on Tuesday that some officers wanted to enter the classrooms harboring the shooter but were stopped by their superiors.

He said officer Ruben Ruiz tried to move forward into the hallway after receiving a call from his wife Eva Mireles, a teacher inside one of the classrooms, telling him she had been shot and was bleeding to death.

Ruiz was detained, had his gun taken away, and was escorted off the scene, according to McCraw. Mireles later died of her wounds.

Calls for Arredondo to resign or be fired have persisted.

Emotions Erupt at City Council

Wednesday’s announcement came one day after the Uvalde City Council held a special meeting in which community members and relatives of victims voiced their anger and demanded accountability.

“Who are you protecting?” Asked Jasmine Cazares, sister of Jackie Cazares, a nine-year-old student who was shot. “Not my sister. The parents? No. You’re too busy putting them in handcuffs.”

Much of the anger was directed toward Arredondo, who was not present at the meeting but was elected to the city council on May 7, just over two weeks before the massacre.

“We are having to beg ya’ll to do something to get this man out of our faces,” said the grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, a 10-year-old victim. “We can’t see that gunman. That gunman got off easy. We can’t take our frustrations out on that gunman. He’s dead. He’s gone. … Ya’ll need to put yourselves in our shoes, and don’t say that none of ya’ll have, because I guarantee you if any of ya’ll were in our shoes, ya’ll would have been pulling every string that ya’ll have to get this man off the council.”

One woman demanded the council refuse to grant Arredondo the leave of absence he had requested, pointing out that if he fails to attend three consecutive meetings the council can vote him out for abandoning his office.

“What you can do right now is not give him, if he requests it, a leave of absence,” she said. “Don’t give him an out. We don’t want him. We want him out.”

After hearing from the residents, the council voted unanimously not to approve the leave of absence.

On Tuesday, Uvalde’s mayor announced that Robb Elementary is set to be demolished, saying no students or teachers should have to return to it after what happened.

We make it a point to not include the names and pictures of those who may have been seeking attention or infamy and will not link out to websites that might contain such information.

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Texas Public Safety Director Says Police Response to Uvalde Shooting Was An “Abject Failure”

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New footage shows officers prepared to engage the shooter one hour before they entered the classroom.


Seventy-Seven Deadly Minutes

Nearly a month after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers, evidence has emerged indicating that police were prepared to engage the shooter within minutes of arriving, but chose to wait over an hour.

The shooting at Robb Elementary began at 11:33 a.m., and within three minutes 11 officers are believed to have entered the school, according to surveillance and body camera footage obtained by KVUE and the Austin American Statesman.

District Police Chief Pete Arredondo reportedly called a landline at the police department at 11:40 a.m. for help.

“It’s an emergency right now,” he said. “We have him in the room. He’s got an AR-15. He’s shot a lot… They need to be outside the building prepared because we don’t have firepower right now. It’s all pistols.”

At 11:52 a.m., however, the footage shows multiple officers inside the school armed with at least two rifles and one ballistic shield.

Law enforcement did not enter the adjoined classrooms to engage the shooter until almost an hour later, at 12:50 p.m. During that time, one officer’s daughter was inside the classrooms and another’s wife, a teacher, reportedly called him to say she was bleeding to death.

Thirty minutes before law enforcement entered the classrooms, the footage shows officers had four ballistic shields in the hallway.

Frustrated Cops Want to Go Inside

Some of the officers felt agitated because they were not allowed to enter the classrooms.

One special agent at the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived about 20 minutes after the shooting started, then immediately asked, “Are there still kids in the classrooms?”

“It is unknown at this time,” another officer replied.

“Ya’ll don’t know if there’s kids in there?” The agent shot back. “If there’s kids in there we need to go in there.”

“Whoever is in charge will determine that,” the other officer responded.

According to an earlier account by Arredondo, he and the other officers tried to open the doors to the classrooms, but found them both locked and waited for a master key to arrive. But surveillance footage suggests that they never tried to open the doors, which a top Texas official has confirmed were never actually locked.

One officer has told reporters that within minutes of the police response, there was a Halligan bar, which firefighters use to break down locked doors, on-site, but it was never used.

At a special State Senate committee hearing Monday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw called the police response an “abject failure” and “antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre.”

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from (entering rooms) 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he said. “The officers have weapons, the children had none.”

We make it a point to not include the names and pictures of those who may have been seeking attention or infamy and will not link out to websites that might contain such information.

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