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Gay Ohio Teacher Fired After Explaining Pride Bracelet to Students

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Ohio has spoken out after he was fired from his job for discussing his Pride-themed bracelet with his students.Jay Bowman has taught for 30 years.

He’d been working as a substitute teacher at a Huntington Local High School classroom when several of his students asked about the bracelet he was wearing.It was a rainbow bracelet that read “First Capital Pride.”“If a kid has questions, if a kid wants honesty, I don’t think I should be forbidden from providing that,” Bowman told local TV station WSYX.First Capital Pride is a local LGBTQ+ rights organization.“When approached by students who expressed a certain point of view, I happily slid the band off my arm, offered it to the student, and explained that First Capital Pride offered support groups for teens who may be struggling, are suicidal, are ostracized, and need support,” he told the Scioto Valley Guardian.WSYX reports that the school district’s superintendent wouldn’t agree to an on-camera interview, but the district sent a statement.

In it, the district said Bowman had violated school policy.The statement, which was addressed to “Huntington Local Schools students, staff and families,” notes that the district doesn’t “discriminate in our hiring practices.”The district adds that it does regulate what staff can discuss with students.“It is important for you to know that our Board policies restrict staff from discussing with students certain subjects, including political, religious, and personal beliefs.

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