A Nevada teacher responded to her school district’s restrictions on LGBTQ “signage” by making a TikTok video that shows her classroom plastered with rainbow decor.
Jennifer Leja, whom BuzzFeed News identified as a teacher of middle school students in Reno, Nevada, posted a video on her TikTok last week showing off her rainbow posters, teacher’s desk, and duct tape separating student desks.
According to her TikTok video, the school said talking about LGBTQ issues would be considered “supporting a single political party.”
“And if anybody asks, I just really like rainbows, like, I just really like rainbows,” Leja says.
She takes the viewers on a tour of different parts of her classroom, including a pen stand flaunting rainbow feathers and a sign above her classroom door, decorated in rainbow colors.
“No politics in Ms. Leja’s classroom,” she says. “She just likes rainbows. Rainbows aren’t political, not at all, rainbows are just colorful.”
The video then lands on her wearing a face mask with a rainbow heart. She says, “What, this? This is not political, this is just that I really like rainbows.”
She told BuzzFeed News that students often come to her when they’re exploring their identities.
She has always kept a rainbow flag, but a new policy issued by the Washoe County School District bans political “signage” and “partisan political activities,” according to BuzzFeed News.
In an email reviewed by BuzzFeed News, banned “political activities” include signs supporting LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter, pro-life, and pro-gun campaigns. An official for the school district said, however, that teachers are still allowed to share their sexuality or talk about same-sex partners with students.
Leja’s video has garnered thousands of “hearts” and comments, with many pointing out that one’s ability to love or identify with their gender is not a matter of politics.
Must-reads on the Daily Dot
H/T BuzzFeed News
*First Published: Sep 21, 2020, 4:48 pm
Trader Joe’s isn’t just a store, it’s a whole lifestyle.
And no one knows that better than Mr. Wilson.
The TikToking educator shared a video on Aug. 20 of his brilliantly executed Trader Joe’s themed classroom, which he truly went above and beyond to create. The teacher even made himself a custom Trader Joe’s shirt and red shopping basket to complete the look.
Sadly, Wilson’s big room reveal to his future students was thwarted by an online learning plan, implemented by many schools across the U.S. in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bittersweet clip, which has been viewed over 402K times, has racked up over a thousand comments from people who wish they could have a teacher as dedicated as Mr. Wilson.
“This made me so sad,” wrote one user. “Teachers are so under-appreciated. You are amazing!”
“I’m obsessed with this theme, you would’ve been my fave teacher,” said another.
“As a Trader Joe’s employee this is simply amazing,” commented a third.
Wilson explained in a TikTok comment that he was able to get the details so precise for his classroom decorations by enlisting the help of a nearby TJ’s.
“My local store took pictures for me and I printed at Staples!” he wrote.
And, for what it’s worth, it seems Wilson’s students may get to see all his hard work after all — he shared a video of himself sanitizing his classroom on Sept. 2 with the caption, “They’re coming.”
We hope they love the layout even half as much as we do.
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If you liked this story, read about this deaf Trader Joe’s employee’s ‘tremendous’ gift from his coworkers.
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