Josephine Co. Commissioners come out in support of Grants Pass teachers who are under investigation

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Josephine County Commissioners are supporting a pair of Grants Pass teachers who were put on administrative leave.

The two educators spoke out on social media against a bill that would require Oregon to develop and implement a statewide education plan for students who identify as LGBTQ+.

In a meeting last week, Commissioner Darin Fowler said it’s the teachers’ right to have an opinion on policies that affect their industry.¬†They plan on sending their letter of support to Grants Pass School District 7, as well as, the Oregon Department of Education.

“I think it’s okay for a teacher and an administrator for a school to have some input on a bill that would affect their trade.” said Commissioner Fowler, ” I can’t believe that free speech was being stifled at this level”.

Rachel Damiano is an Assistant Principal and Katie Medart is a 7th-grade teacher at North Middle School in Grants Pass. The ‘I Resolve’ Movement that the teachers are supporting asks local, state, and federal leaders to adopt several principles and policies, including that there are two anatomical gender presentations male and female.

But teachers and administrators speaking out publicly on controversial issues can be tricky. One former Medford teacher’s union president told NBC5 News it’s safer for educators to stay out of politics, but the issue isn’t black and white.

“You can influence somebody when you’re whatever it is out of the book because you can put the emphasis.”.

Offut’s been retired for 6 years now. He says since he’s left the political climate has gotten tenser. That puts everything teachers do and say that much more in focus.

NBC5 News reached out to Grants Pass School District 7 for an update. There is no update.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
Skip to content