The time for sideline Christianity is over.
A public school teacher in Chandler, Arizona is a prime example of the sort of treatment conservative, Bible-believing Christians should come to expect—and be prepared to fight.
According to the East Valley Tribune, the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) fired Annella Krom, an art teacher, for allegedly discriminating against a transgender student and bringing a box of Bibles to her classroom.
The Tribune reports:
Annella Krom’s conduct at Arizona College Preparatory-Erie was described as “objectionable, disrespectful, and unprofessional” in a report by district staff to the governing board.
Students accused Krom of freely discussing her Christian beliefs in class and expressing anti-gay viewpoints, including she thought homosexuals were “just confused.”
The allegations led to her termination earlier this month.
According to the district report, a transgender student told administrators that Krom wouldn’t allow an art project about their “personal journey through transgenderism” because the subject was inappropriate for a classroom environment.
The student then went to a counselor, who informed the school’s principal. The principal then advised Krom there was nothing objectionable with the student’s project topic. Because, according to leftist doctrine, gender identity is an unquestionable reality and must be accepted completely, no matter how much it contradicts one’s personal beliefs or even basic biology.
In an email to the principal, Krom reported that she does not condone the LGBTQ lifestyle and could not assist in creating artwork that glorifies it with a clean conscience.
“Either this topic is the priority or the word of God is,” Krom allegedly wrote, adding that grading the project any higher than a zero out of a possible 50 points would constitute approval of transgenderism and go against her convictions.
The Tribune continues:
CUSD charged Krom with violating a provision of her contract that prohibits a teacher from discriminating against any coworker, student or parent based on gender or sexual orientation.
On Sept. 11, the Chandler Unified Governing Board determined there was good cause to dismiss Krom and placed her on administrative leave.
She was given until Sept. 26 to request a hearing to contest the district’s allegations before termination was considered, but she never sought one.
In an interview with her pastor, Apologia Studios’ Jeff Durbin, however, Krom explained that each year she signed her contract, only the aspects of her employment related to pay were provided for her to look over and sign, not policies regarding gender pronouns and the degree to which she can reasonably satisfy her sincere convictions in her workplace.
The district report also outlined incidents in which Krom allegedly questioned her students’ pro-abortion sentiments and gave them Bibles, as well as refusing to use transgender students’ preferred pronouns, another issue Krom responded to in her interview with Durbin.
Krom recalls her students, who are part of an Advanced Placement program at the school, discussing an abortion restriction recently passed in Texas and declaring that the state should simply be “cut off” for daring to limit abortion access. Krom, like any other teacher facilitating a discussion in her classroom, added her thoughts to the conversation from a pro-life perspective these children may have never even been exposed to.
“Disagreement is seen as ‘you hate me,’” Krom stated, declaring that to correct someone and show them the truth is “the greatest love” you can give in this fallen world. Amen!!
As for the transgender student’s art project, Krom shares her clarification of the Tribune’s report, which she argues is blatantly biased and mostly false, at about the 13:20 mark in the video below:
The student, tasked with an inquiry-based research project, instead gave “questions that she had already answered herself… she already is biased.” Further, Krom opposed the project because she did not “think sexuality in any way belongs in a classroom,” and instead encouraged the student to pursue the project on her own time.
Krom then took the opportunity to share what she had actually written in an email to the student, as opposed to the slanted retelling of the incident offered by the Tribune:
Due to the topic you have chosen for your piece, I cannot approve your concept. It is a controversial topic, and because I do not want to spark division in the classroom and because it is inappropriate for the classroom environment, I would like you to think of a different topic. There are many different ways to take this project, so due to the content, you should…choose another avenue to create an AP project. Once you develop a new concept, feel free to email me. Thank you for understanding.
Thankfully, Krom reported in the interview, she was hired at a Christian school where she can bless others with her artistic and educational gifts without stifling or contradicting her God-given convictions.
If there was still any hope that public schools are truly the ideologically-neutral learning environments they’re made out to be, this incident pulls back the curtain. Public schools cannot be truly neutral, otherwise Krom’s thoughts and convictions would be held in equal esteem to her students’. True neutrality isn’t the goal in these schools, it’s total compliance with the leftist agenda they’re after.
As the anti-science, anti-Christian LGBT agenda tightens its stranglehold on every facet of public life in America, those Christians and churches who won’t stand for God’s truth will be quickly divided like chaff from the wheat, and those who stand their ground will be vilified and punished for refusing to comply.
“In that last six months of my job, I was giving the Gospel to my students because it hurt me to see the darkness in my classroom every day and no one seeing a way out,” Krom declared, pointing out that the suicide and self-harm rates at her former school were so extreme, each student had a suicide hotline number printed on the back of their ID card. This is exactly the kind of heartbreaking darkness we are called to shine the light of Jesus into!
Krom should be a hero to us all. In an era when Christians are tempted daily to downplay their convictions as “personal choices” she was willing to repeatedly perform acts and take stands that put her job at risk and clearly violated the humanist-influenced status quo of the public school system.
Still, Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 3 that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” but this is a price we must be ready to pay in order to honor and serve our Creator and Savior, not His creation.
May we be as bold and steadfast in sharing the gospel and defending the faith as Annella Krom!
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