The Georgia Board of Education upheld a previous decision Thursday to fire Katie Rinderle, a former fifth-grade teacher, for reading a book about gender identity to her students, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rinderle, who had taught for 10 years, was fired in August 2023 by Cobb County School Board for reading the book “My Shadow Is Purple,” which encourages kids to go “beyond the gender binary,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Rinderle had appealed the school’s decision in September, but the board determined that her firing was not “unconstitutionally vague” or a result of a “predetermined outcome.”


A parent reportedly complained that Rinderle was reading the book to her class, prompting a review of her actions from the school board, according to Axios.

The book’s Goodreads description reads, “My Dad has a shadow that’s blue as a berry, and my Mom’s is as pink as a blossoming cherry. There’s only those choices, a 2 or a 1. But mine is quite different, it’s both and it’s none.” The book focuses on the life of a 6-year-old who discovers their gender identity, Axios reported.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the “Parental Bill of Rights” and the “Protect Students First Act” into law in 2022, prohibiting “divisive concepts” from being taught in schools. As a result of the law, the district adopted its own policy on the issue and determined that the book was not appropriate and has also taken steps to remove sexually explicit books from its shelves, according to NBC News.

Riderle also filed a lawsuit against the district earlier this month with the Southern Poverty Law Center, arguing that she had been discriminated against and that the policies “unlawfully discipline educators for mentioning LGBTQ+ and gender-nonconforming people and their experiences in the classroom,” according to a press release.

Riderle has 30 days to appeal the board’s decision in Cobb County Superior Court, NBC reported.

Rinderle’s attorney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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