California teacher Kristin Pitzen has gone viral for telling her students to swear allegiance to Pride flag instead of the American flag, which she took down because it made her "uncomfortable.” The school district is allegedly investigating the incident after a video posted on Twitter page Libs of TikTok exposed the teacher's actions.
While the incident occurred during the early days of the pandemic, news of the investigation come amid news of teachers getting penalized for controversial stances on mask mandates and critical race theory.
Kansas City teacher Josiah Enyart and California Tiffany Wilder were fined and suspended, respectively, for voicing their disapproval of the school districts' mask mandate and CRT curriculum. Pitzen was placed under investigation after a TikTok video showing her bragging about how she “packed (the American flag) away” garnered over a million views.
The TikTok video shows Pitzen explaining how she conducts morning announcements at her school, including the Pledge of Allegiance.
"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."
She stated that she removed the American flag from her class "because it made me uncomfortable."
"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.
She revealed, "I tell this kid, 'We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to.' And he like, looks around and goes, 'Oh, that one?'" The video shows her pointing to the pride flag.
Fox News identified Pitzen as a teacher in the Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, California. The school district stated that it was investigating the incident.
"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."
Pitzen has been vocal about her LGBTQ++ allyship, posting videos on TikTok showing her decorating her classroom in pride flags and wearing rainbow colors during Pride Month.
Her account seems to have been deleted.
According to The Blaze, the account’s bio read: "Your Favorite English Teacher;" "She/They;" and "Bi."
Social media users have slammed Pitzen’s actions, with one person writing: "Teachers need psych evals."
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."
Another person wrote: "am sure the kids will turn out fine."