Fired Cobb County teacher speaks in Decatur to kick off Banned Book Week

Sunday marked the beginning of Banned Book Week, an annual event to highlight the value of free and open access to information.

Highlighting the event, fired Cobb County teacher Katie Rinderle stood in front of the Little Shop of Stories store in downtown Decatur, and spoke to about 50 people gathered outside, according to the AJC.

“There is a small but loud and vocal minority pushing to restrict access to certain books and discussions in our classrooms, endangering the fundamental principle of our educational system and perpetuating harm to our students,” she said. “I speak from personal experience.”

Rinderle is believed to be the first public school teacher in the state to face consequences under laws passed in Georgia last year limiting what teachers are allowed to discuss in the classroom. She was fired for reading “My Shadow is Purple” by Scott Stuart, a book challenging gender norms, to fifth graders. After a two-day hearing, and against the recommendation of a panel of retired educators, the Republican majority on the Cobb County School Board voted to terminate her employment.

Rinderle is asking the Georgia Board of Education to reverse her firing.

She was just one of several local speakers at the Sunday event. MoveOn, a liberal political action group, hosted the event to mobilize members of the community to stand against policies that allow for book banning and to hand out commonly banned or challenged books.





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