Termination hearings held for two Grants Pass educators

Watch the meetings: https://zoom.us/j/2724620554

Update (07/15/21, 6:48 p.m.) – Rachel Damiano and Katie Medart’s employment with Grants Pass School District 7 have been terminated.

Original story: GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Grants Pass School Board is deciding the fate of two educators who allegedly stirred up controversy by making comments about the LGBTQ+ community.

The Grants Pass School Board is meeting Thursday to consider recommendations by the superintendent to terminate two district employees for alleged violation of district policies in mid-July.

The district hired a private investigator to look at comments made by North Middle School’s Assistant Principal Rachel Damiano and 7th-grade teacher Katie Medart this past spring.

NBC5 reported months ago that the two women were sharing their personal beliefs on proposed LGBTQ+ legislation at both the state and federal level on the internet.

Some called the comments made by the educators insensitive and are asking for the school district to fire them.

The educators, who were put on administrative leave during the investigation, said they were expressing their personal opinions for “pragmatic, loving, and inclusive verbiage adjustments.”

We told you earlier this month that the two educators filed a lawsuit against the district in federal court. They are suing over alleged First Amendment violations including freedom of speech and religion.

The suit also said school district officials knew about the “I Resolve” movement and it wasn’t an issue until after the videos went viral.

The district has repeatedly declined comment since first telling us it is “committed to providing welcoming and safe learning environments for all students, including our LGBTQ students.”

The hearings will take place on Thursday, July 15 at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. A public Zoom link is available: https://zoom.us/j/2724620554

This is a breaking news story. Updates will be provided when more information becomes available.

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