NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A complaint from a Norman parent over a potential violation of House Bill 1775 forces the school district to remove a teacher for the time being while they investigate the situation.
With the threat of getting accreditation demoted, school districts have been extra cautious with what books can be read in classrooms.
Part of a statement from Tuesday, the district said:
“The concern centered on a Norman Public Schools teacher who, during class time, made personal, political statements and used their classroom to make a political display expressing those opinions.”
The district said that part of the complaint had to do with the teacher handing out QR codes for a program that gives teenagers access to books that have been banned in their local districts.
The program is called Books Unbanned. It is run by the Brooklyn Public Library in New York.
“The core of democracy is the notion that everybody has the right to read whatever they like,” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Schools. “It’s not up to anybody else to tell us what we can and cannot read.”
Johnson said she was alerted to the situation in Norman because of a spike in sign-ups using the QR codes here in the state.
“We heard about it this morning when we started to see a barrage of requests for the cards that we’ve been issuing coming specifically from Oklahoma,” said the library president.
Norman Public Schools said the district met with the teacher on Tuesday afternoon.
“We addressed the issue and expected the teacher to return to class as normal Wednesday,” said Wes Moody, Executive Director of Communications, in a statement. “At no point was the teacher ever terminated, suspended or placed on administrative leave but, unfortunately, we understand the teacher has publicly expressed their intent to resign.”
KFOR has learned the teacher, Summer Boismier, resigned her position on Wednesday.
She admits to placing posters in her classroom with a QR Code allowing access to the Brooklyn Library’s banned book section.
Norman Public Schools fired a high school teacher in June because he reported, to parents and school administration, a hit list that was written inside of a bathroom stall.
Richard Cavett spoke to us today about what this teacher may be experiencing now.
“Her life is going to be on hold. She’s going to face some some difficulties and some hardships and all because she wanted kids have access to books,” said Cavett.
The former Norman High history teacher ended up leaving Oklahoma and moved to Connecticut.