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‘Patriots’ cover Back Bay High School with American flags after removed teacher tells students to pledge allegiance to the LGBTQ+ pride flag

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Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orange County, California, residents covered the campus of Back Bay High School in American flags as the school announced Kristin Pitzen — the teacher who suggested students pledge their allegiance to the LGBTQ+ pride flag rather than the American flag — was removed from the classroom over her antics.

What's a brief history here?

Pitzen raised eyebrows and made headlines earlier this week after one of her TikTok videos went viral.

In the video, she suggested that the students in her class — which was devoid of an American flag — say the Pledge of Allegiance to the LGBTQ+ pride flag instead.

Pitzen previously said that she removed the American flag from her classroom because it made her feel "uncomfortable."

After the video went viral, school officials announced that Pitzen was removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave.

A spokesperson for the Newport Mesa Unified School District said, "We are aware that one of our teachers posted a video on their personal social media that caused alarm and concern related to saluting the American flag. Showing respect for our nation's flag is an important value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees. I assure you, we take matters like this seriously and will be taking action to address it."

The spokesperson added, "The teacher is no longer in the classroom. We follow due process and our investigation continues."

What did others do in response?

Following the outcry of Pitzen's since-deleted video, area citizens took to the school's property and surrounding cross streets and peppered the exteriors with American flags.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, one area resident also staked a poster bearing the words to the Pledge of Allegiance in the grass area outside of the school.

One mother told the outlet that she noticed people standing outside of the school earlier this week waving American flags and smiling at passersby.

"I saw it as I was coming by, so I got in the turn lane and honked and said, 'Thank you for doing that,'" she recalled saying as others honked in support of the show of patriotism.

Twitter account "Libs of Tik Tok" shared video of the school's exterior surroundings on Wednesday, and captioned it, "Back Bay High School, where Kristin Pitzen worked, was decorated in American flags by community members. Patriots."

At the time of this reporting, the video has been viewed more than 28,000 times.

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