A Massachusetts public school teacher is suing her former superintendent and employer over what she says is a violation of her First Amendment rights after being fired after posting anti-Critical Race Theory and anti-transgender ideology videos on the social media platform TikTok.

The conservative legal group Judicial Watch recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of high school teacher Kari MacRae in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts “for damages against Hanover School Superintendent Matthew Ferron and Hanover High School Principal Matthew Mattos for retaliating against MacRae, a math/business teacher at Hanover High School, for exercising her First Amendment rights.”

According to a Judicial Watch press release, the lawsuit “details that Mattos met with MacRae on September 24, 2021 to inform her that he was investigating the impact of six memes and two TikTok videos that MacRae posted which were referenced in a September 22, 2021, Boston Globe article.”

Five days later, she was fired from her teaching position at Hanover High.

The controversy began when MacRae ran for and won a position on the Bourne School Committee in Bourne, Massachusetts, last spring. As part of her campaign, MacRae railed against Critical Race Theory and expressed her opposition to transgender ideology.

According to the Boston Herald, one of her videos in question stated the following:

“So pretty much the reason I ran for school board and the reason I’m taking on this responsibility is to ensure that students, at least in our town, are not being taught critical race theory. That they’re not being taught that the country was built on racism.

“So they’re not being taught that they can choose whether or not they want to be a girl or a boy,” she added in the video. “It’s one thing to include and it’s one thing to be inclusive. And it’s one thing to educate everybody about everything. It’s completely another thing to push your agenda. And, with me on the school board, that won’t happen in our town.”

In September, in response to these videos and victory, the Bourne Educators Association demanded that MacRae resign from her position on the committee.

“First and foremost it’s about our students, and we have a number of students that are in the LGBTQ+ community,” Ann-Marie Strode, president of the BEA and a local teacher, told Boston.com.

“As educators, it’s important we stand for our students. They are in a vulnerable position at this age in trying to figure out who they are, and where they’re going, and what they’re doing,” she added. “The memes that were posted were really anti-transgender — there was a pattern of that — and as a union, we had to stand for our students.”

Boston.com also noted that MacRae’s campaign promised she wouldn’t “use they/them pronouns to refer to an individual, only their name, because she’s not going to be ‘a liar’ and say someone is ‘plural.'”

Following the BEA’s efforts to have MacRae removed from the committee, she received a letter from Hanover High School Principal Matthew Mattos notifying her she would be fired from her job due to her social media activity according to Judicial Watch.

“I have determined that continuing your employment in light of your social media posts would have a significant impact on student learning at HHS,” the letter allegedly said. Judicial Watch said that Hanover Superintendent Ferron signed off on Mattos’ decision to fire MacRae.

Ferron said in a statement given to the Boston Herald:

“The Hanover Public School District understands and respects the First Amendment rights of all employees,” Ferron said in a statement.

“That being said,” he added, “If a teacher publicly interfaces with the community in a way that may negatively impact our ability to provide a positive and distraction free learning environment for our students and staff, it is important that school districts have the ability to exercise their 90-day dismissal option under Massachusetts law.”

MacRae is still on the BEA committee and can only lose her position either by losing re-election or by voters gaining enough signatures for a recall election.

“Kari MacRae was viciously targeted and unlawfully fired as a teacher because she exercised her First Amendment rights to criticize critical race theory,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said after filing the lawsuit. “This civil rights lawsuit aims to hold accountable school district officials who are so desperate to push critical race theory that they will trample the civil rights of our client, Ms. MacRae.”

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