Pennsylvania Teacher Reinstated After District Suspended Him for Not Using Trans Students Preferred Pronouns
One of the many students who defended the teacher: “I don’t think he deserves this and I think that people should have the right to express themselves and have their beliefs and I don’t think he should be suspended because of that.”
The last week was quite a whirlwind for biology and anatomy teacher Daren Cusato, who teaches in the South Side Area School District in Beaver County, PA.
The school district suspended Cusato last week when he refused to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns.
Cusato’s wife explained the district put him on administrative leave because he did not comply with the policy to refer to students by their preferred pronouns since it went against his Christian beliefs:
When the district sent a letter to faculty and staff mandating they comply with those pronouns, Cusato reportedly refused and said that practice goes against his Christian beliefs and his background in biology.
“Love the sinner but hate the sin,” said RJ Cusato, Daren’s son. “We don’t support what they’re doing but still love the person. He doesn’t have any problem with the students. We have no problems with the kids at all, he just doesn’t want to support what they’re doing. He doesn’t want to give them a pat on the back if they’re doing something he doesn’t think is right.”
A bunch of students protested Cusato’s suspension outside of his classroom. Lillian Zakutney said: “I don’t think he deserves this and I think that people should have the right to express themselves and have their beliefs and I don’t think he should be suspended because of that.”
Over 400 people attended Wednesday’s school board meeting. More than 40 of the people who spoke to the board showed support for Cusato:
“My uncle Daren is standing up for what is right, even though he is standing by himself. I am thoroughly embarrassed that South Side School District has taken this arbitrary stance in choosing to align with the one percent,” his niece said.
“I am standing up here tonight to ask you to separate these two things: the very divisive but trendy topic of pronouns and the precedent that you are setting, which is that teachers need to modify their engagement of students based on how that student feels,” another said.
One woman derided the district for acting in what she perceived to be a fear of “getting sued.”
“We shouldn’t be afraid of being sued. Fine. If you want to sue us, sue us. Let’s take it to the Supreme Court. Let’s take it all the way,” she said.
The district reinstated Cusato and suspended the policy forcing teachers to use preferred pronouns.
The board wants “to write a new policy on the subject at a future meeting.”DONATE
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