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Teacher hit with $1,000 fine after he quit job over mask mandates and critical race theory training

Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A 6th grade math teacher in Kansas quit his job because of mask mandates and critical race theory training. After resigning from the teaching position he was hit with a $1,000 fine.

Josiah Enyart, a 6th grade teacher at the Comanche Elementary School in Overland Park, resigned days after the Shawnee Mission School District announced it would require all students and unvaccinated teachers to wear masks.

"That was my final straw," Enyart told the Sentinel of the mask mandate that was announced on July 25.

However, when Enyart quit his job he was ordered by the school district to pay a $1,000 "liquidation penalty" for resigning after a specific deadline in his contract, according to Fox News.

There were several other issues that caused Enyart to quit his teaching job, including critical race theory training. The Sentinel reported that the Shawnee Mission School District spent more than $400,000 on critical race theory training for teachers.

The teachers were taught Deep Equity training, which is a "comprehensive and systemic professional development process aimed at producing the deep personal, professional, and organizational transformations that are necessary to create equitable places of learning for all of our nation's children."

The Deep Equity training is "developed and implemented nationally" by Gary Howard, who says white educators are "collectively bound and unavoidably complicit in the arrangements of dominance that have systematically favored our racial group over others."

"It's all critical race theory stuff," Enyart said. "That was kind of the start where I realized, they're really trying to bring this in and make it something."

Enyart, who has been teaching for 13 years, was also dismayed at how the school district's administration handled remote learning. He noted that there was very little teachers could do when students didn't do their school work or didn't show up to the online classes.

"I couldn't do anything but give them no grade," Enyart said. "The district leaders did not give parents or teachers a sense of control or accountability where we could help students succeed."

Enyart said that he couldn't fail students who were not putting any effort into their school work. He believes that the school was more concerned with the student's self-esteem than with children learning to read and write.

"What a 12th grader has to know and get done to graduate is what a 5th grader had to do 40 years ago," he claimed.

He became so disappointed with how the school district was handling everything that he pulled his own kids from the local public school.

"I'm not going to continue to have my kids bossed around by these people and have no power as a parent, no power as a teacher, and for my kids to have no say," Enyart declared.

After learning that private school is expensive, Enyart said he would homeschool his children this year, but hopes to start a private teachers group to give parents in the same situation another alternative.

"Our students are going to learn things they haven't had an opportunity to learn in a long time," Enyart said of the possible teaching arrangement.

A GoFundMe campaign was established to help Enyart pay the $1,000 fine.

"The board has decided to move forward with the fine assessment," the page states. "It is on my heart to compensate Josiah from a community of grateful people, who appreciate his willingness to take a stand and say 'no more.' He has put his livelihood on the line for our kids, and Shawnee Mission has lost an excellent teacher and one of the few men left to teach our boys and girls."

At the time of publication, the crowdfunding campaign had raised nearly $16,000.

On Saturday, an update on the GoFundMe page says, "Additional funds will be put in an account and used to provide space and materials to create a special, inspired environment for these kids to become future instructors, leaders, out of the box thinkers, world-changers. One hundred percent, no exceptions, of moneys raised will go to fund Josiah's mission. Kids need better options. Teachers need to know there is a way out."

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