A California middle school teacher took a mental health leave of absence after she says students bullied her upon discovering she is gay, something she said she had not shared with them.
Estes, who teaches at Spring View Middle School in Rocklin, first revealed what had happened in a Facebook post in which she wrote: “At the start of the school year, some students found out that I am gay — a fact I had never shared with my students. They posted photos online and it became the talk of the campus. While it is dehumanizing and painful to be outed, my hope was that it would die down. Instead, it escalated to the point that I was being harassed in and out of the classroom. When I sought the help and support of my administration, I did not find it. The situation became so severe that I sought the support of the union, who hired me a lawyer to help me navigate this situation.”
The Facebook post prompted a local news station, ABC10, to interview Estes about the situation.
Estes says students started following her on YouTube and one night she got a comment from a person from Rocklin that read, “Don’t be stupid, be a smarty. You can join the Nazi Party. Now accepting dykes.”
A few months later, a student made a disparaging comment about gay marriage during a class presentation that included remarks about “homos” and comments that it is “Adam and Eve” not “Adam and Steve.”
Watch their report:
The school said it can’t comment on the situation since it involves litigation.
ABC10 decided to present the other side of Estes story and interviewed Averee Patton, the student behind the presentation that included gay marriage.
Patton and her parents are religiously-motivated bigots and stand behind the school district’s non-defense of Estes.
Said Averee’s mother Lane: “As far as we’re concerned, we back the school district 100 percent. She shouldn’t have her sexual preferences pushed on you and our religious views shouldn’t be pushed on anybody else.”
Averee explained that the school project which started this homophobic snowball rolling was one in which she was assigned to describe a Utopian society.
Said Averee: “I made my rules no abortion, no racism and no gay marriage….She told me it was disrespectful and I should have reworded it differently. I had gone over it with my family and their said it was OK.”
Averee later added: “My parents have taught me all that I need to know and I don’t think the school needs to teach me anything.”
Watch ABC10’s follow-up report: