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A Maine teacher claimed that the Democratic governor and state department of education “caved to pressure” when they removed her LGBTQ-themed lesson video for kindergartners from a state website.
Kailina Mills, who reportedly teaches kindergarten at Whitefield Elementary School in Whitefield, Maine, made a video for an online resource hub created early in the pandemic to allow teachers to share lesson plans.
In the video, Mills discussed “Freedom Holidays” such as the Fourth of July and Juneteenth before pivoting to talk about different sexual orientations, same-sex marriage and transgender identity.
In touching on transgender issues, she told the young students that doctors sometimes make mistakes when they assign gender at birth.
Mills has since been scrubbed from Whitefield’s website and its principal did not respond to a request for comment regarding whether she was still employed there.
The video became a point of contention when it featured in a Republican ad last week that targeted Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills. The ad accused Mills of spending $2.8 million to create “radical school lessons” aimed at the youngest children in public schools.
The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) reviewed the online lesson plan following the ad and said last Wednesday that it had been removed. The governor was not aware of the video “and agrees with the Department of Education’s decision to remove the lesson,” said Lindsay Crete, the governor’s spokesperson.
Kailina Mills, who bears no relation to the governor, later took to Facebook to claim she had become “a political football,” and went on to slam the governor and MDOE, who she said “caved to pressure instead of standing up for some of the most vulnerable people, families, and students in Maine.”
Mills claimed she has “taught preschool students who are transgender and non-binary, and it is a fact that I have worked with parents who are L, G, B, and T.”
“Those children and those families deserve to be represented in their school curriculum. Public schools are for everyone and should, therefore, include everyone,” she continued.
Citing various academic studies, Mills went on to claim that “using accurate pronouns and receiving affirmation from families, teachers, peers, and doctors is suicide prevention, and this affirming care must begin as early as Kindergarten because that’s when children are solidifying their gender identity.”
She concluded by likening the removal of her video to racial discrimination.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.