A California teacher instructed her students to pledge allegiance to a gay pride flag after she removed the American flag from her classroom because it made her uncomfortable, according to a report. The school district has allegedly launched an investigation into the incident.
The alleged teacher was exposed by the massively popular "Libs of TikTok" account on Twitter, which has over 176,000 followers. The page shared an apparent TikTok video of the teacher explaining how she handles the morning announcements in her school, which includes 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,'" the teacher said in the video, which has over 1 million views. "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 noted.
The teacher explained in the video that she removed the American flag from her classroom during the pandemic "because it made me uncomfortable."
"I packed it away and I don't know where, and I haven't found it yet," she said while giggling.
One of her students asked what he should look at while they recite the Pledge of Allegiance since there is no American flag in the classroom.
While attempting to hold back laughter, she exclaimed, "In the meantime, 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?'" She then pointed to the gay pride flag.
Teacher mocks the American Flag and suggests to students they can say the Pledge of Allegiance to the pride flag: https://t.co/1QTS5xjPln— Libs of Tik Tok (@Libs of Tik Tok)1630101529.0
Fox News has identified the teacher in the viral video as Kristin Pitzen, who reportedly teaches in the Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, California.
The Newport Mesa School District told Fox News that the situation is being investigated.
"We are aware of this incident and are investigating," a public relations officer for the district, Annette Franco, told the outlet. "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."
In another video, Pitzen is seen celebrating the start of gay pride month. Dressed in rainbow suspenders and rainbow earrings, the teacher shows off all of the pride flags she decorated the classroom with, including the transgender pride flag and the "progress pride flag" that places a "greater emphasis on 'inclusion and progression,' especially for "marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color" and transgender people.
"I pledge allegiance to the queers," Pitzen said in the video.
Southern California high school English teacher. Unsure exact school. If you have any leads- dm me please— Libs of Tik Tok (@Libs of Tik Tok)1630102755.0
The TikTok account shown in the videos is mrsgillingsworth, which appears to have been deleted from the social media platform. When the account was active, the profile description stated: "Your Favorite English Teacher." The profile also read: "She/They" and "Bi."