Teachers Union Expels Minnesota School Counselor for Disagreeing With Transgender Policy

Students in classroom. (Credit: Unsplash/Taylor Flowe)

The Rochester Education Association (REA) in Minnesota has made the questionable, but predictable, decision to expel a school counselor for expressing concerns about the district’s transgender policies. This development is one of many highlighting the problem with the nationwide push to force people to adhere to progressive ideas on gender identity.

Christina Barton, a counselor in the Rochester school district, criticized the district’s policies regarding gender identity. The union defended its decision to expel her by claiming she violated the National Education Association’s (NEA) code of ethics.

It accused her of “mischaracterizing Rochester Public Schools policies and practices regarding LGBTQ+ students, speaking negatively of fellow union members, and spreading misinformation about transgender youth”:

According to the union, Barton violated the following:

-The educator “shall not unreasonably deny the student’s access to varying points of view”;

-The educator “shall not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the student’s progress”;

-The educator “shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety”; and

-The educator “shall not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement.”

The union stated it “recognizes” that Barton is “free to hold whatever viewpoints you wish regarding LGBTQ+ students or any other matter, but viewpoints are not free from consequences, especially if they cause or contribute to unprofessional behavior.”

According to the union’s constitution and bylaws, the Rochester Education Association Executive Board has to first “observe” a “member’s due process rights” before “censor[ing], suspend[ing], or expel[ling] a member for violation” of the NEA Code of Ethics. Barton states she was never given due process rights.

Barton countered the organization’s allegations, saying, “It seems that in a culture where ‘all are welcome’ and ‘kindness abides and bullying isn’t allowed,’ that only those employees who succumb to censorship and intimidation are welcome.”

The counselor also said she was not given an opportunity to defend herself before the union decided to oust her. 

She said:

Following my public statement to the school board on March 19, I have experienced countless retaliatory responses that are unprofessional, inaccurate, and very hurtful to me as a person as well as a concerned counselor and parent who is merely trying to advocate in the best interests of kids and on behalf of all parents.

The point of contention came when Barton spoke before the school board on March 19 and May 7, and expressed valid concerns about the district’s policies, which include not informing parents if their children are exhibiting symptoms of gender dysphoria. “How would a parent be able to care for and support their student if the school never reached out to them,” Barton asked.

In March, she participated in an interview on YouTube in which she criticized the district’s transgender policy. The counselor said during the conversation that the district did not share the guidelines with parents or community members, and discussed a staff meeting in which a “disturbing” video about transgenderism was shown. The video discussed how schools should conceal information about a child’s gender issues from their parents.

In light of this, it is not surprising that the union expelled Barton. They can’t have dissenters talking common sense about gender ideology, can they? By expelling Barton, the union is sending a chilling message to those who might deign to voice their opposing views. It is par for the course for the Marxists promoting gender ideology – they are not focused on debate but on intimidating the rest of us into pretending their insane ideas on gender are valid. By creating an environment of fear, these people hope to push their issues onto the rest of us without resistance.

It is not clear whether Barton intends to file a lawsuit against the union. But if I were her friend, I’d tell her to go for it. These people are nothing more than bullies, and the best way to stop a bully is to fight back. Lawfare has already proven to be an effective method for countering those seeking to force us all to embrace gender ideology.


Trending on RedState Videos