A California middle school teacher who admitted she “totally stalked” student online activity to identify candidates for an LGBTQ club said her explosive comments were made “tongue in cheek,” according to a new report.
Buena Vista Middle School staffers Lori Caldeira and Kelly Baraki ignited an ongoing controversy in the small Spreckels Union School District after they spoke about their recruitment approach at an October LGBTQ conference.
“When we were doing our virtual learning — we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren’t doing schoolwork,” Caldeira said at the gathering. “One of them was Googling ‘Trans Day of Visibility.’ And we’re like, ‘Check.’ We’re going to invite that kid when we get back on campus.”
An attendee recorded the remarks and sent them to journalist Abigail Shrier, who later wrote about the matter.
The school’s LGBTQ club, called You Be You, has since been suspended and the teachers have been on administrative leave pending an ongoing internal investigation.
In her first comments since the controversy mushroomed, one of the teachers told the San Francisco Chronicle that she and her colleague did not set out to surveil kids and were using approved GoGuardian tracking software.
The program, which saw widespread adoption during the onset of remote learning, allows teachers to see what their students are doing in order to prevent online misconduct.
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SOURCE: New York Post, Selim Algar