Dismissal 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 has been terminated.

Original story: GRANTS PASS, Oregon – The Grants Pass School Board decides the fate of two educators who allegedly sparked controversy while commenting on the LGBTQ + community.

The Grants Pass School Board is meeting Thursday to consider the superintendent’s recommendations to fire two district employees for alleged violations of district policies in mid-July.

The district hired a private investigator to review comments made by North Middle School vice-principal Rachel Damiano and grade 7 teacher Katie Medart last spring.

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

Some have called the comments made by educators insensitive and are asking 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 have filed a lawsuit against the district in federal court. They are suing for alleged First Amendment violations, including freedom of speech and religion.

The lawsuit also said school district officials were aware of the “I Resolve” movement and that it was not a problem until after the videos went viral.

The district has repeatedly declined to comment since first telling us it was “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 p.m. and 5 p.m. A public Zoom link is available: https://zoom.us/j/2724620554

This is breaking news. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

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