Cobb teacher fired for reading book about gender files lawsuit against district

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County teacher who was fired for reading a book about gender identity to a class of fifth graders last year is now suing the school district.

Katie Rinderle was removed from her classroom in March after reading “My Shadow is Purple” to her class. She was formally fired by the school board in August.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Tuesday, names the school district, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and individual members of the school board as defendants.

Current Cobb County teacher Tonya Grimmke and the Georgia Association of Educators are also named as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit claims that the school district was too vague in its censorship policies and did not define what topics were “divisive, controversial and sensitive.”

They claim that the school district never told Rinderle or other teachers that discussions of LGTBQ issues or gender identity were “prohibited from classroom discussions.”

In the lawsuit, Grimmke says that because the district’s policies are vague, she is concerned she could risk her job security if she discusses topics with her students that she did not know are considered “controversial” or “divisive.”

Officials with the Georgia Association of Educators say they joined the lawsuit because they have seen substantial costs as a result of the school district’s decision to remove and fire Rinderle and have had to divert resources from their other programs.

The lawsuit calls for Cobb County Schools to reinstate Rinderle to her former teaching position, as well as monetary damages.





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