A Florida teacher was suspended for 15 days without pay this week after an internal investigation found she harassed her students about their sexuality and even outed one young girl to her father.
Southside Middle School teacher Kelly Hendrix told WFOX-TV that she didn’t understand why she’d been punished. She claims she only asked one student about his sexuality in order to help him combat classroom bullies.
School officials launched the investigation into Hendrix’s inappropriate behavior after fielding several complaints about it from students. The public report found that on top of grilling students about their sexuality, Hendrix also called them derogatory names like “dumb ass,” “gay,” and “retarded.”
Hendrix defended herself in an interview with WFOX-TV. Regarding the time she quizzed a young boy about his sexuality, she said, “I called the boy outside and I said to the boy, I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and he said, ‘Kids are calling me gay,’ and I looked at him and said, ‘Well are you gay?’” Hendrix said. “He said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘Well why does that bother you?’ — simply like that.”
On another occasion, Hendrix asked the boy, “How do you know you’re not attracted to the female body?”
Hendrix also claimed the girl whom she outed filed a complaint against her in retaliation.
“I teach 165 kids this year. They pulled me out of the class because of one complaint. One complaint. I’ve been teaching 21 years,” she said. “I love it. I love it. And now it’s over for me.”