One California teacher has sparked a national controversy after removing the American flag from her classroom. Apparently, the American flag made teacher Kristin Pitzen “uncomfortable.” She then allegedly replaced the flag with an LGBTQ+ Pride flag and made her students pledge allegiance to it.
The school district is now looking into this incident. It received national attention after a clip of Pitzen and her Pride flag went viral on the Twitter account “Libs of TikTok.” The incident happened nearer to the beginning of the pandemic, but it has since made national news at a time when many teachers are under increased scrutiny due to the grassroots pushback against teaching practices involving Critical Race Theory.
Pitzen apparently had packed away her American flag long before the incident. She would allow her students to stand and say the pledge of allegiance, but she did not like having a physical American flag in her room. The incident in question happened after a student asked her what he should look at while saying the pledge. Evidently, Pitzen’s response was that there was in fact a flag in the room to which the students could pledge their allegiance, referring to the Pride flag. The school district in Orange County, CA has commented that this is an ongoing matter, though they state affirmatively that respecting the flag and what it stands for are important values to the district. Many internet commenters were less than pleased with Pitzen. It remains to be seen what will happen with the investigation.
“We are aware of this incident and are investigating,” Annette Franco, a public relations officer for the district, told Fox News. “While we do not discuss employee-related matters, we can tell you that showing respect and honor for our nation’s flag is a value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees. We take matters like this seriously and will be taking action to address it.”
A second person stated: “If the American flag makes you uncomfortable then leave the country. I’m not kidding. Actually go somewhere that doesn’t fly the American flag so much. Please go nobody will miss you, you’ll be happier everyone will win.”
Another wrote: “She needs to be reported immediately to the school board ASAP!! Thank god I don’t have kids in school anymore.”
Someone else commented: “Lmaooo I just went to this Tik tok and commented ‘please quit your fucking job’ and she blocked me almost immediately.”
“I always tell my class, ‘Stand if you feel like it, don’t stand if you feel like it, say the words if you want, you don’t have to say the words,'” she said in the video. “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.”
“I packed it away and I don’t know where, and I haven’t found it yet,” she said, adding that one of her students wanted to know what he should look at while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.