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Bourne school board member fired from teaching post after controversial TikTok posts


Politics

“I was fired specifically for a social media post I made. It’s a violation of free speech.”

Kari MacRae, member of the Bourne school committee. Screenshot

The Bourne school committee member who was forced to resign because of her comments on gender identity has been fired from her new teaching position at Hanover High School.

Kari MacRae was elected to the school committee in May in an undisputed race, but in September the Bourne Educators Association called for her resignation, saying her views are inconsistent with district values ​​and could harm students. At an overcrowded school committee meeting on September 22, MacRae said she would not resign and that she had been the target of “reckless and false accusations and innuendo.”

  • Bourne teachers want school committee member to resign after TikTok posts about race and gender

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On Tuesday, MacRae told the Cape Cod Hours she is now seeking legal recourse after her new job as a business teacher at Hanover High School ended on September 29.

“I was fired specifically for a social media post I made,” she said. “It is a violation of freedom of expression.”

In a letter read with a Times reporter, Hanover principal Matthew Mattos, told him: “continuing your job in light of your social media posts would have a significant negative impact on student learning at HHS.” According to the letter, the district is exercising its right to terminate MacRae’s employment within the first 90 days.

Generally speaking, the superintendent of the Hanover school, Matthew Ferron, told the Times school districts can terminate an employee within the first 90 days of employment with or without cause, and the district respects employees’ First Amendment rights.

“That being said, if a teacher communicates publicly with the community in a way that can negatively impact our ability to provide a positive and distraction-free learning environment for our students and staff, it is important that school districts have the opportunity to exercise their 90-day Termination Option under Massachusetts law, ”he said.

In the TikTok video that started it all, MacRae says she ran for office to make sure students don’t learn critical race theory or that they can choose their gender.

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“It’s one thing to include and it’s one thing to be inclusive. And it’s one thing to educate everyone on everything, ”she says. “It’s a whole other thing to push your agenda. With me at the school board, this will not happen in our city.

Although its TikTok was briefly discontinued in September – TikTok has not confirmed whether it has been deleted or made private – it is available again. Other videos and screenshots shared with Boston.com in September share similar views: In another video, MacRae says she won’t use pronouns to refer to someone, only their name, because she is not going to lie and say someone is plural when they are not.

In September, union president and Bourne High School teacher AnnMarie Strode told Boston.com that the union voted unanimously to call for MacRae’s resignation, largely based on her comments. on LGBTQ + students.

“It’s all about our students, and we have a number of students who are part of the LGBTQ + community,” Strode said. “As educators, it is important that we stand up for our students. They are in a vulnerable position at this age to try to figure out who they are, where they are going and what they are doing. The memes that were posted were really anti-transgender – there was a pattern to that – and as a union we had to stand up for our students. “

On her website, MacRae describes herself as “the latest victim in a campaign to destroy free speech in America” ​​and an “American patriot who values ​​your and hers free speech.”

“Those who would like to silence Kari MacRae, fire her from her job for her political opinions or cry hatred are not the protectors of our Constitution,” she wrote. “They are not the protectors of your free speech and they will eventually lose theirs. It cannot be allowed to stay.