Kristin Pitzen: Teacher asks students stand to Pride flag instead of US flag in video
After going viral through a TikTok video where she laughs about replacing the flag, Kristin Pizen is facing a probe
A California teacher has gone viral for instructing her students to swear allegiance to the LGBTQ++ flag after taking down the American flag as it admittedly made her "uncomfortable". Identified as Kristin Pitzen, the incident is allegedly being investigated by the school district, after a popular Twitter account called 'Libs of TikTok' exposed the teacher's actions to their 176,000 followers.
Although the incident dates back to early pandemic, news of Pitzen being investigated comes amid a spate of teachers being penalized for their controversial stances on mask mandates and critical race theory. Kansas City teacher Josiah Enyart and another Californian teaching professional Tiffany Wilder faced consequences in the form of fine and suspension, respectively, for expressing their disapproval of their school districts' mask mandate and CRT curriculum. Pitzen is reportedly only being investigated right now after a TikTok video of her grinning about how she 'packed (the American flag) away' gained over a million views.
Teacher mocks the American Flag and suggests to students they can say the Pledge of Allegiance to the pride flag: pic.twitter.com/1QTS5xjPln— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 27, 2021
Pitzen's TikTok video sees the teacher explain how she handles 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'," Pitzen says in the video, continuing: "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."
Revealing how she removed the American flag from her classroom during the pandemic "because it made me uncomfortable," Pitzen grins: "I packed it away and I don't know where, and I haven't found it yet." Adding how one of her students asked what he should look at while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as there was no flag in the classroom, Pitzen reveals, "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 sees her point to the pride flag.
Pitzen was identified by Fox News as a teacher from the Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, California. The school district told the outlet that the incident is being currently investigated. "We are aware of this incident and are investigating," said Annette Franco, a public relations officer for the district. She added: "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 previously vocally expressed her LGBTQ++ allyship in TikTok videos by decorating her classroom in pride flags and wearing rainbow colors during Pride Month. The account, with the username @mrsgillingsworth seems to have been deleted from TikTok. The Blaze reports that back when the account was still active, its description described the user as: "Your Favorite English Teacher"; "She/They"; and "Bi." And social media is being unforgiving about Pitzen's stand on the American flag, with some declaring: "Teachers need psych evals."
Another complained: "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." Parents even tweeted saying: "She needs to be reported immediately to the school board ASAP!! Thank god I don’t have kids in school anymore." Another user, who apparently managed to dig up Pitzen's TikTok account before it got taken down from the platform, tweeteD: "Lmaooo I just went to this Tik tok and commented “please quit your fucking job” and she blocked me almost immediately". Another quipped: "am sure the kids will turn out fine."
Teachers need psych evals.— EzGo68W (@Ezgo37687671) August 27, 2021
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.— ignore the @ (@OneTrueDumbass) August 27, 2021
She needs to be reported immediately to the school board ASAP!! Thank god I don’t have kids in school anymore🙄— A Millie. (@PamW84676269) August 27, 2021
Lmaooo I just went to this Tik tok and commented “please quit your fucking job” and she blocked me almost immediately 😂— Zach Lucas (@zachlucas96) August 27, 2021
Yes.— Rembrandt Q. Einstein (@RembrandtQEins7) August 28, 2021
Pull down the flag.
Avoid topics that make you feel uncomfortable.
Make a safe space.
Only happy thoughts are allowed.
I am sure the kids will turn out fine.