Tahoma High School English and World Culture Through Film teacher Hilary Ledford gave her students an assignment that required them to provide answers about their gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and class status.
According to the parental rights group Tahoma Parents, "Hilary Ledford has been giving her students assignments that require them to divulge their religion, gender identity, and sexual preference while simultaneously creating a 'sexual activist' type environment in her class."
A student brought the assignment to a parent after being made uncomfortable and the parent then told the school principal and school district about the matter.
In an Instagram story, Ledford wrote, "If I told you one of my lessons caused a deranged parent to email district admin, school admin, the school board, AND post about me on social media, would you believe me?"
According to the Tahoma parents website, "Ledford’s social media is actively followed by her students."
"Videos and photos submitted to us show unprofessional relationships with students, off-topic classroom signage, promotion of controversial ideological values, public thoughts of suicide, and more," the post reads. "This display is extremely concerning considering she posts videos of her students and their content."
The school district responded and said that the assignment was inappropriate but provided no update about Ledford's employment status at the school.
An anonymous school administrator told the outlet that "teachers often get away with injecting personal narratives due to contractual clauses that provide them Academic Freedom."
According to the American Federation of Teachers website, "The concept of academic freedom is based on the idea that the free exchange of ideas on campus is essential to good education."
The concept also asserts the "right of faculty members, acting both as individuals and as a collective, to determine without outside interference" the curriculum.
In 2018, Ledford was the subject of a Tahoma News article which concerned the teacher's creation of a "safe space" program to teach "tolerance and inclusion."
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