SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The Utah Education Association, a union for public education employees, said they are deeply troubled by the Utah State Board of Education’s decision to pardon Natalie Cline of any wrongdoing.
Natalie Cline, a Utah State Board of Education member, was under investigation for inflammatory Facebook posts, as well as remarks made during a non-USBE gathering at Taylorsville Library.
In her post on Facebook, Cline wrote: “Schools are not only complicit in the grooming of children for sex trafficking, but they are aiding and abetting this evil practice by giving kids easy access to explicit, unnatural, and twisted sexual content and brainwashing them into queer, gender-bending ideologies.“
On Monday, USBE concluded its investigation and said Cline was exercising her right to speak in regards to her Facebook post, and that no additional action was taken due to lack of evidence for the remarks made at the Taylorsville Library.
In response to the conclusion of USBE’s investigation, the Utah Education Association released a statement claiming they were “deeply troubled by USBE’s failure to find her toxic words in violation of its standards,” and that they were unwilling to take action to reprimand or censure Cline.
The UEA also said they “vehemently oppose” the “damaging remarks” made by Cline, claiming her post on Facebook was not only unfound but also dangerous.
“[Her words] cast an unwarranted shadow over the dedicated professional educators in our state,” Hailey Higgins, UEA Director of Communication and PR said. “At UEA, we firmly believe in defending the integrity and professionalism of our public educators. Teachers play a vital role in shaping the future of our society by nurturing and educating our students. Labeling them with such baseless accusations undermines their dedication and erodes the trust between educators, students, parents, and the community.”
The UEA is urging Cline to acknowledge the harm she has caused and to apologize for attacking educators.
“It was horrifying to hear an elected official for the Utah State Board of Education make those claims, and it’s hurtful,” UEA President Renee Pinkney said.
Natalie Cline has not responded to ABC4’s request for comment. For more information on the USBE’s original ruling, read here.