When parents ask their children about their school day, they likely don’t expect to hear about a teacher’s vicious political tangents. Nevertheless, that was what Lehi, UT mother Judy Storm had been hearing repeatedly, specifically concerning her son Zane’s chemistry teacher, Leah Kinyon.
Zane was able to record a video of one of Kinyon’s rants, which Storm then sent to Fox 13 News, as well as district leaders. The video begins with Kinyon declaring that “I would be super proud of you if you chose to get the vaccine. We’ll just keep getting variants over and over until people get vaccinated…It could end in five seconds if people would get vaccinated.”
“This is my classroom, and if you guys are going to put me at risk, you’re going to hear about it,” Kinyon, who was not wearing a mask, furthered. “Because I have to be here. I don’t have to be happy about the fact that there’s kids coming in here with their variants that could possibly get me or my family sick. That’s rude, and I’m not going to pretend like it’s not.”
One would think Kinyon would attempt to bridge the divide between her words and actions, but she instead turned her ire to former president Donald Trump. “I hate Donald Trump. I’m going to say it. I don’t care what y’all think — Trump sucks,” she babbled.
“Don’t tattle on me to the freakin’ admin; they don’t give a crap,” Kinyon challenged, before implying to students that she was more intelligent than their parents, threatening students with mockery if they disagreed with her, and declaring that she would make the lives of someone who says “a damn word about” the LGBT community “a living hell.”
Well, admin did, in fact, give a crap. Kinyon was almost immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, and Alpine School District issued the following statement to Fox 13:
“We became aware late this afternoon of an incident that took place today in one of our high school classrooms. An immediate investigation ensued. The employee has been put on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation. This behavior is inappropriate, not reflective of the professional conduct and decorum we expect of our teachers, and will not be tolerated.”
The investigation proceeded quickly, and Alpine School District confirmed to local media that Kinyon was indeed fired — a win for families who think high schoolers being perpetually intimidated isn’t a win for American schools.
Alpine Superintendent Shane J. Farnsworth declined Chalkboard Review’s request for a more specific statement.
It is good to see school districts do the right thing, and Alpine should be lauded for doing so. That being said, the fact that we are pleasantly surprised when a district fires a teacher who deserves to be fired indicates that we exist in a sad state of affairs.
But if we keep fighting, keep doing our due diligence, and report unacceptable behavior, more districts will be forced to listen. Maybe they’ll even join Alpine in doing the right thing.