The left-wing Utah teacher caught on video during class blasting former President Donald Trump, unvaccinated individuals, climate deniers, "dumb" parents — and even threatening to make life "a living hell" for students who speak against LBGTQ students — is now out of a job.
What are the details?
It isn't clear if chemistry teacher Leah Kinyon resigned or was fired, but school district spokesman David Stephenson told Fox News Thursday that "we have concluded our investigation of the incident that occurred on August 17, 2021, at Lehi High School. Although the details of a personnel investigation are confidential, the teacher involved is no longer an employee of Alpine School District."
She was initially placed on administrative leave, KSTU-TV reported.
Stephenson also called Kinyon's behavior "inappropriate" and said it was "not reflective of the professional conduct and decorum we expect of our teachers and will not be tolerated," Fox News said, citing the Salt Lake Tribune.
What's the background?
Cellphone video of Kinyon's classroom rant — which appeared to be part of a Q&A session on a variety of topics — began with her speaking about COVID-19 vaccines.
"I would be super proud of you if you chose to get the vaccine," the unmasked Kinyon told her students before adding, "We'll just keep getting variants over and over and over until people get vaccinated. It's never going to end. ... It could end in five seconds if people would get vaccinated."
Her attention then turned toward Trump.
"I hate Donald Trump," an animated Kinyon told her students. "I'm going to say it. I don't care what y'all think — Trump sucks. He's a sexual predator. He's a literal moron." She soon appeared to dare a student to "tattle on me to the freakin' admin; they don't give a crap."
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Seconds later, Kinyon told students to "turn off the Fox News" before pivoting back to vaccines.
"This is my classroom, and if you guys are gonna put me at risk, you're gonna hear about it," she said. "Because I have to be here. I don't have to be happy about the fact that there's kids coming in here with their variants that could possibly get me or my family sick. That's rude! And I'm not gonna pretend like it's not. So don't ask me to."
Kinyon then told her students that "most of y'all parents are dumber than you. I'm gonna say that out loud. My parents are freakin' dumb, OK? And the minute I figured that out, the world opens up. You don't have to do everything your parents say, and you don't have to believe everything your parents believe. Because most likely you're smarter than them."
One student was heard asking Kinyon, "Can I believe what I want to believe?" And she replied, "You can believe what you want to believe, but keep it quiet in here because I'm probably gonna make fun of ya."
After Kinyon began to note "topics that you probably want to avoid in this class" — one of them being "politics, which you went into, you asked me" — she then told her students, "If you don't believe in climate change, get the hell out."
And when one student appeared to take issue with her climate change stance, Kinyon shot back, "That's pathetic that you think that. You're the problem with the world."
She then told her students, "If you're a homophobe, get out! 'Cuz I'm the [Gay-Straight Alliance] faculty adviser! I love gay people. All LGBTQIA+ motherf***ers. If you don't like it, get out! If I hear you say a damn word against any of 'em, I will open a can, and I will make your life a living hell. And they know it! If you say shizz to any LGBTQ kid in this school, I will hear about it, and you will be in trouble."
The video ends with one student telling Kinyon, "I think I love you even more."
Content warning: One whispered F-bomb from the teacher:
Utah Lehi High School Teacher Leah Kinyon 8 17 21 - "Chemistry" teacher. youtu.be
A second video showed Kinyon telling students about sex and gender, noting that those who claim there are only two genders "and that's the end of the story" are at a "5th-grade biology level" and that "it's way more complicated" and that "you can have both."
Here's a follow-up report from KSTU that features comments from a student who was in Kinyon's class when video was recorded, along with some pointed thoughts from his parents:
School district says Lehi teacher no longer employed after comments to students youtu.be