A Florida middle school teacher has been suspended without pay after authorities discovered that there’s enough evidence to suggest that she’s been spending valuable teaching time on calling students gay and retarded as well as telling parents that their kids might be gay (despite not knowing the child’s sexual orientation). Her response? She was just trying to help.
It’s certainly possible that Kelly Hendrix of Duval county may have really been trying to be helpful when she asked students if they were gay and asked a young woman if she was certain she “wasn’t attracted to the female body,” but school officials have found that these questions, which made her students uncomfortable, were in no way appropriate for a teacher to be asking. In addition, at least one student claims that Hendrix told them that she’d get them in trouble if they told anyone else. But four students did tell. And this isn’t her first time at this particular rodeo: in 1998, Hendrix was given a written warning for slapping kids and calling them “little brats.”
In addition to all that, students allege that Hendrix told them about a sexual relationship she had with another female teacher. One accusation alleges that Hendrix called a child out of class to interrogate him about his sexual orientation, which she admits but says was for his benefit.
From the New York Daily News:
“I called the boy outside and I said to the boy, I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And he said, ‘Kids are calling me gay,’ and I looked at him and said, ‘Well are you gay?’ And he said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘Well why does that bother you?’” Hendrix told WFOX-TV.
This, by the way, is not the way to end bullying or make kids feel safe. But you probably already knew that. You’d probably make a better teacher, too.
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Image via Fox 30