(LifeSiteNews) — A longtime public school teacher in Idaho was let go earlier this month for being unafraid to mention God in the classroom and voicing his objections to a pro-LGBT policy designed to promote “transgender” ideologies among young people.
Ian O’Connell, a Catholic teacher who served as a substitute in the public institutions of Caldwell School District for over 20 years, spoke on February 13 about a proposed “gender identity and sexual orientation” policy that would dismiss the reality of biological sex and enable children to believe they can “transition” to a member of the opposite sex.
Following this address — which O’Connell said was one of several instances in which he openly spoke about God and truth — he was told he could no longer substitute teach in the district.
O’Connell began his comments with the Sign of the Cross, saying, “Yes, I offer this up as a prayer. I pray that the board, with all due respect, rejects this proposal if it comes up again.”
“[Policy] 3281 is evil. It’s an abomination. I feel so strongly about it that if this passes, I will no longer substitute teach in the Caldwell School District, with all due respect, which has been wonderful for me. And I will encourage my fellow substitute teachers not to substitute teach here anymore,” he said.
O’Connell added that one clause in the policy “says if you don’t endorse our guidelines, you will be disciplined. Freedom of thought: where has it gone? And so, I pray that this is rejected.”
The veteran teacher added that if the policy is adopted, he would respond by “asking [teachers] that they immediately apply for a job in a moral school district.”
“I was let go from my position on Wednesday morning, February 15,” O’Connell told LifeSiteNews in a phone interview. “The reason was that I talked about God.”
O’Connell explained that while his termination came after his remarks at the school board meeting, it was just one of several instances over the years in which he chose to defend the truth and risk losing his position.
Over the years, the teacher has refused “to deny or be ashamed of our Lord.” He told LifeSiteNews that he had been “warned” multiple times about some of his words in the classroom. Some instances include when he has talked about the religious background of St. Patrick’s Day, in which case he asked if any of the students were Catholic and knew something about the context he spoke of.
O’Connell shared that after one of these situations, a school principal challenged his mention of God, to which the teacher responded that “God was in it” and bringing Him into the discussion “was appropriate to the assignment.”
“Then, on St. Valentine’s Day, I think this kind of was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I explained how St. Valentine’s Day in my day and even on the secular calendar was always SAINT Valentine’s Day,” he said, explaining how he told students “about his secretly marrying couples.”
The next day, he was informed that the school district “can no longer have you as a substitute.”
O’Connell shared that his “motivation” to speak out against the pro-LGBT proposal “was to put God back in our schools and remove Satan who is now imposing his evil way upon our children [through] misguided adults on the school board and within the school district.”
Although policy 3281 “has yet to be implemented,” the push to use “preferred pronouns” and accept the LGBT agenda is “already evident” in the school system.
“Their agenda is perverting our children’s minds and behavior without the parents’ permission [and] before the legal age of self-determination,” O’Connell said. “The devil is destroying the family to dominate the world. He feels that if he can destroy the family, pervert our values, he’ll have more influence.”
Increased support of the LGBT agenda
Policy 3281, which remains in the proposal stage and has not been adopted in any official capacity, enforces the LGBT agenda by allowing gender-confused students to use facilities of their choice and opens the door for keeping such confusion secret from parents.
The proposal states that “no student will be required to use facilities that conflict with his or her gender identity consistently expressed at school” and that “the district will provide all students the opportunity to participate in any activities segregated by gender in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity consistently expressed at school.”
Additionally, gender-confused students may be assigned to sleeping quarters with members of the opposite sex on overnight school trips, with a provision in place to allow requests for changes to room assignments. Refusing to call a student by a name and gender conflicting with his or her biological sex “is a violation of this policy and may subject an employee to discipline.”
The policy also states that “when contacting the parent/guardian of a transgender [sic] student, school personnel should use the student’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender assigned at birth unless determined by a previously developed plan.”
Though a traditionally conservative state, Idaho has begun pushing the LGBT agenda both in and beyond the classroom. In January, LifeSiteNews reported that the Department of Health and Welfare had implemented mandatory “sexual orientation” training for those seeking to become foster parents. An employee within the department said that if anyone opposes the LGBT agenda, “then perhaps being a foster parent isn’t the right choice for them.”
Last month, a group of Satanists announced plans to protest a proposed bill that would ban surgical and hormonal interventions for gender confused minors. The bill, titled the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, passed in the Idaho House in February. If it becomes law, the legislation would criminalize doctors for dispensing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and committing mutilating surgeries for children in the name of “gender identity.”
In another positive effort, the state senate advanced a bill last month that effectively bans all sex education — including LGBT talking points such as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” — in public schools before fifth grade.
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