LEHI, Utah (ABC4) – A fourth-grade teacher at a Lehi charter school has been placed on administrative leave after a social media video featuring the teacher discussing sexuality went viral.
The 57-second video posted on the TikTok account @libsoftiktok has been viewed at least 1.5 million times and features the teacher, Jenna Hall, a fourth-grade educator at the Renaissance Academy, recalling an incident where her students discussed gender queerness.
“They come visit me almost every day after school and a lot of them are queer, because I am queer and they figured it out, so I’ve become their safe space,” the teacher says in the video.
It’s unclear where the video was first posted online.
The woman continues, describing how she recently observed her students playing the board game “Guess Who?” in a different way than the game is typically played.
While playing, the teacher mentions how the students would make remarks such as “This person looks like a lesbian baddie who’s gonna come over and make you dinner,” and asking questions such as “Which character just looks gay?”
“These kids — I’m so happy they are figuring out who they are and that they’re happy with who they are and that they found a safe place, but man, I could never imagine being in 5th grade saying these things out loud even though I know they’re all okay,” the teacher says. At this moment in the video, text pops up on screen video reading “*internalized homophobia.*”
The teacher continues saying, “I grew up in super religious where nothing was okay and so seeing this happen, I’m like ‘Ahh!’ but I’m also like ‘Yay!’”
Since the video was posted, the charter school that employs the teacher has released a statement saying:
“Late Friday afternoon, May 6, 2022, we became aware of a concerning video posted to social media by one of our teachers.
In the video, the teacher described several inappropriate conversations with former students. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation.
Our teachers are expected to comport themselves with the highest degree of professionalism. Behavior that is unprofessional, in violation of state code, or that violates the trust placed in us by the families of Renaissance Academy will not be tolerated.”