A California high school teacher is being investigated by the school board after she revealed she’d got her students to pledge allegiance to the gay pride flag instead of the American one.
Kristin Pitzen, of Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, posted a video to TikTok, where she admitted she’d removed the American flag because it made her ‘uncomfortable’.
When one of her English class students pointed out it was missing during the Pledge of Allegiance, she told them to recite the pledge to the only flag she did have hanging in her classroom – the gay pride flag.
The TikTok has since gone viral, sparking a backlash from many parents who were angry she was teaching children to ‘disrespect’ the American flag.
‘How can the words “for liberty and justice for all” bring such hate in people? How can anyone have (an) issue with those words?’ one user replied.
Some even questioned why she lives in America, calling on the school to fire her and parents to homeschool their kids.
While others praised her, even going as far to say they wished she taught their own children.
Kristin Pitzen of Newport Mesa School District in Orange County sparked outrage when she boasted she’d got her class to say the pledge of allegiance to the gay pride flag
She showed off how she is celebrating Pride Month – by hanging a variety of pride flags in her classroom
In the controversial TikTok, Pitzen reveals that the Pledge of Allegiance is read during third-period announcements.
She said she always tells her class: ‘Stand if you feel like it, don’t stand if you feel like it. Say the words if you want, don’t have to say the words.’
‘So my class decided to stand but not say the words – totally fine,’ she said.
‘Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag,’ Pitzen added.
‘It used to be there,’ she said in the video as she pivots the camera and points to the wall in the front of the classroom.
‘But I took it down during Covid,’ she said, whispering that she did it ‘because it made me uncomfortable’.
She said she ‘packed it away’ but doesn’t know where, laughing in a way that implied otherwise, prompting the school district to open an investigation.
‘And I haven’t found it yet,’ Pitzen added, as she put her hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh.
When a student asks her where the flag is, saying it’s ‘kinda weird that we stand and then we say it (the Pledge of Allegiance) to nothing,’ the teacher shrugged it off and told them: ‘I’m working on it, I got you.’
The TikTok then cuts to Pitzen then silently mouthing ‘no’ while shaking her head.
In the meantime, she told the student: ‘We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to.’
Pitzen works at the Newport Mesa School District in Orange County and has since taken down all of her social media accounts
She told her students she lost the American flag, whispering in the video and giggling as to imply she did it on purpose because it made her ‘uncomfortable’
‘And he goes: “Oh, that one”?’ she added as she shows the gay pride flag hung in the classroom.
The original TikTok has since been taken down – along with all of Pitzen’s social media accounts – but has been viewed on Twitter more than 1.2million times.
An earlier video she posted on her account, where she goes by @MrsGillingsworth, the teacher celebrated Pride Month on June 1 and showed off how she is celebrating by hanging a variety of pride flags in her classroom.
‘I pledge allegiance to the queers,’ she said in the video while wearing rainbow glasses, earrings and suspenders.
Not everyone disagreed with Pitzen, some praised her decision while others said they would have felt more comfortable pledging to the gay pride flag rather than the US one
Pitzen also showed the large pride flag she got at Target and planned to hang on the wall – the same one she later told one of her students they could say the Pledge to in place of the American Flag.
‘I love you all very much. For the people who are out, for the people who aren’t out – you’re appreciate, you’re loved, you are enough. I support you,’ she said at the end of the video.
The video was disgust by many online who blasted her for being ‘disrespectful to our American Flag.’
Others demanded she be fired and threatened to contact her school.
‘She needs to be reported immediately to the school board ASAP!! Thank god I don’t have kids in school anymore.’
Many more accused her of ‘indoctrinating’ their children.
Not everyone disagreed with Pitzen, some praised her decision while others said they would have felt more comfortable pledging to the gay pride flag rather than the US one. ‘Reciting a pledge to any flag is cringe,’ one user commented.