EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE — Chandler Unified School District fired an art teacher for allegedly discriminating against a transgender student and bringing a box of Bibles to her classroom.
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.
The East Valley Tribune reached out to Krom, who had been teaching in Chandler for the last three years and she referred any questions to her attorney but he did not reply.
The district report said a transgender student told administrators Krom wouldn’t allow an art project about the personal journey through transgenderism because the subject was inappropriate for a classroom environment.
“Teacher subsequently acknowledged that she rejected the topic because it conflicted with teacher’s religious beliefs,” the report states.
The student went to a counselor, who informed the school’s principal. The principal advised Krom there was nothing objectionable with the student’s project topic.
In an email, Krom told the principal she does not condone the LGBTQ lifestyle and won’t assist in creating artwork that glorifies it, the report said.
“Either this topic is the priority or the word of God is,” the teacher allegedly wrote.
Krom gave the student zero out of a possible 50 points for the project, telling the principal that a higher grade would violate her conscience.
“I understand that you are probably unwilling to change your topic at this point,” the teacher reportedly wrote to the student, “but I cannot be forced to compromise convictions.”
The transgender student asked to be taken out of Krom’s class, according to the report.
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.