NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR)- Just over a week after a former Norman High School English teacher resigned for HB 1775 violation claims, she is now receiving vulgar messages and death threats.
“These teachers need to be taken out and shot,” “teachers like this should not only be fired but also should be swinging from a tree,” “If Summer tried this in Afghanistan, they’d cut out her tongue for starters,” are just a minuscule fraction of the threats pouring into Summer Boismier’s inbox.
A parent, Laney Dickinson filed a complaint with Norman Public Schools about Norman High English teacher, Summer Boismier giving a scannable QR code for a Brooklyn library.
That Brooklyn library giving access to books that have been banned in school districts. Those books are also available in most public libraries.
Boismier told KFOR the intention with sharing that code was to provide her students with an “inclusive” learning environment.
“I am advocating as a classroom teacher, you know, with my students in that classroom, I am advocating for a politics of inclusion because I need people to understand this is not a zero sum game. One person’s win is not another person’s loss. And so when we validate and prioritize all identities, that includes yours, that includes mine. I think we’re all better for that. And so it comes down to, you know, I can not be a party to censorship,” said Boismier.
While the claims were investigated by NPS, Boismier was removed from the classroom.
“We met with the teacher to address the concern and expected them to return to class as normal,” said the school district, in a statement on their website.
But Boismeir voluntarily turned in her resignation on August 24.
Oklahoma Secretary of Education, Ryan Walters posted on Twitter days later on August 31 a letter he sent to the State Board of Education asking Boismier’s teaching certification be stripped away.
In the initial letter Walters sent, he stated Boismier was “subsequently fired.”
Eight hours later, he posted the second version correcting what he said to “recent events involving Norman High School teacher, Summer Boismier.”
An apology was not issued nor has the original letter been removed from social media.
Walters also posted both of those letters to Twitter that same day.
That tweet sparking comments from over a thousand viewers, some of which reached out to Boismier herself.
“It disappoints me profoundly that some of our leaders in government don’t seem to understand that people are listening and they have a platform. And one of their duties, one of their obligations is to use those words responsibly, because we can see what happens when they don’t,” said Boismier.
Through the messages and comments, “I’ve seen a lot of intentional misgendering, a lot of kind of homophobic comments, some transphobia, a lot of sexism and misogyny,” explained Boismier.
One message in particular reading, “You despicable lowlife piece of s–t. You’re lucky you didn’t show porn to my kids. Do you know what I would do to you? You seriously do not deserve to live amongst us. To show children porn. You sick f–k. Prison is what you deserve. You f—–g pedophile.”
Additionally, one comment mentioned Boismier needing to be shot for her actions.
Another message Boismier received revealed her home address.
That message sparked Boismier calling the Oklahoma City Police and filing an incident report for intimidation. She filed this the same day Walters publicly aired his letter to the board.
“VI [Boismier] showed me one email in particular that had her apartment number on it. VI [Boismier] said her situation has gone viral and she has been doxed and is worried people may show up to her apartment,” the police report read.
“I think it says a lot more about the folks posting those things than it does about me. In terms of an actual like, you know, addresses and identifying information and stuff like that, so far it’s it’s been like the doxing and has been an isolated incident,” shared Boismier.
The hurtful comments have been rolling in by the hundreds though.
“Say what you want. That says a lot about you. I’m going to say what I want to as well. And we’ll let the court of public opinion decide,” stated Boismier.
Boismier is concerned and cautious moving forward, but she told KFOR the comments won’t silence her.
“When there’s a legal concern [teachers should] call us. Obviously, though, if there is a safety issue, call 911 or your local police. I mean, that’s out of our realm. That’s law enforcement,” said Ginger Tinney, the Executive Director for Professional Oklahoma Educators. “As far as what’s going on with her privately, I can’t speak to that.”
She added that it’s not uncommon for “lots of concerns” to arise with new bills.
“We see this every year. There’re new laws every year. Every year we work through them with our members and, you know, certainly legal problems clarify legislation that is needed to address that issue.”
News 4 reached out to Dickinson for comment, but she didn’t reply.
News 4 has also reached out to Walters several times via phone call and text to hear if he still supports his statement and the outcome that is Boismier’s reality.
Boismier said for the time being, she’ll sit back and watch everything unfold. She couldn’t comment directly on legal action she may or may not take.