GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Grants Pass School Board is looking at revisiting its decision to fire two educators in July for violating district policies. NBC5 News first reported a couple of months ago that the two women were sharing their personal beliefs on proposed LGBTQ+ legislation on the internet. Some called the comments made by the educators insensitive and asked for their termination.
In July, two north middle school educators were fired. Former assistant principal, Rachel Damiano, and 7th-grade teacher, Katie Medart had been sharing their personal beliefs on proposed LGBTQ+ legislation on the internet. But it was using the school district’s time and property that got them terminated.
“The hearing today was to determine whether or not that the board policy was violated. It was not to render any sort of opinion on the ‘I Resolve’ movement itself,” said Board Member Brian Delagrange after the initial decision.
The termination hearing in July took 4 hours. There was even one board member that didn’t want to vote. The educators and their supporters claimed they were being targeted for their personal beliefs.
“I think it became very clear that it was about our speech and not in violation of board policy,” said Rachel Damiano, after the July hearing.
Now the Grants Pass Board of Education is allowing the former educators a second chance. In a 4-to-3 vote Tuesday the board approved a post-termination hearing.
“Now they have a chance to come before the board and present new arguments and new evidence and basically convince them that they made the wrong decision in terminating them before,” said Ray Hacke, the former educators’ attorney.
Hacke is representing Damiano and Medart in a federal lawsuit against their former employer. He told NBC5 News his clients are planning on participating in the post-termination hearing.
“In an ideal world, Katie and Rachel get their jobs back and Kirk Kolb gets fired for sacrificing them to the woke mob,” said Hacke.
We reached out to the Grants Pass School District Thursday. It said the district cannot comment due to ongoing litigation.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.