When her students chose to silently protest the Pledge of Allegiance, a Texas third-grade teacher found herself in hot water with the school’s administration.
She Vented Her Frustrations in TikTok Video
After a very contentious meeting with her supervisors, the educator chose to vent her frustrations in a Tik Tok video that quickly went viral.
In a short clip that has now received over three million views, she revealed how she was reprimanded for teaching her students about their legal and constitutional rights.
The School Expressed Their Concerns
On March 22nd, third-grade teacher Sophia DeLoretto-Chudy was pulled into a “check-in meeting” with an administrator at her elementary school in Austin, Texas.
The School Wasn’t Happy With Her Performance
Per her online account, DeLoretto-Chudy was then served with a “list of concerns” over her teaching methods, including issues with replying to emails, completing administrative responsibilities, adhering to the dress code, and (oddly) teaching Harry Potter as a book study.
The Biggest Concern
What most worried the school, according to DeLoretto-Chudy, was her “intentional attempt in teaching [her] students about their legal and constitutional rights.”
Hot under the collar, the 27-year-old teacher denounced her administrator on social media, where she posts under the name Sophia Marie (@sohp4president).
She Didn’t See Anything Wrong With It
“Why is that a concern?” DeLoretto-Chudy asked fellow Tik Tok users.
Disturbed social media users soon flooded her comment sections. “I’m concerned that they find that concerning,” goes one remark with over 22,600 likes.
“The censorship is unreal,” protested another online user.
The Class Learned The Origins of The Pledge of Allegiance
In a follow-up video, the Texas teacher provides additional context for the school’s concerns.
After learning about propaganda and the Hitler Youth during Holocaust Remembrance Week, DeLoretto-Chudy’s class requested to know more about the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Learning About The Holocaust
“After learning during Holocaust Remembrance Week about propaganda and the Hitler Youth and why Hitler targeted young people, students, and children to spread his ideology, they were curious about where the Pledge of Allegiance came from in the United States,” she recalled in the video.
They Discovered How The Pledge of Allegiance Came About
“We looked it up together, and we discovered after the Civil War when the country was divided about slavery, they needed to bring the country together… [so] they created the Pledge of Allegiance and required it is said in classrooms.”
Protest The Pledge!
Upon learning that it originated as an initiative to teach patriotism to schoolchildren following the Civil War, the third-graders then expressed a desire to protest the pledge.
The Teacher Enabled The Students To Think For Themselves
Rather than encouraging any “disruptive behavior,” DeLoretto-Chudy described teaching her students about silent protesting and using Colin Kaepernick as an example.
Inspired by the former quarterback and civil rights activist, who famously knelt during the national anthem, the third-graders began sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance at school assemblies.
The Teacher Was at Fault
After noticing the students’ odd behavior, a school administrator allegedly accused DeLoretto-Chudy of “indoctrinating” the third-graders into protesting for “reasons they can’t fully understand.”
She Claimed She Is Allowing Them To Think For Themselves
In her Tik Tok video, the teacher sarcastically thanks the school for recognizing all the “hard work” she has done to “indoctrinate her students into being critical thinkers and making decisions for themselves, and not just because an authority tells them they have to.”
Commenters Supported Her Teaching
Online, DeLoretto-Chudy’s comment section flooded with support, including messages like “Keep up the good work [heart emoji]” and “You sound like a great teacher. Please keep encouraging their curiosity!!”
Some Tik Tok users even sympathized with her third-graders, sharing their own experiences as elementary schoolers in Texas: “[M]y mom got pulled into school for a meeting about me because I was pledging allegiance to myself.”
What Should Her Next Move Be?
Fellow educators offered the young teacher advice on how to move forward with her situation.
“I’d make a call to the union,” suggested one out-of-state user, which prompted a conversation about unionization in Texas.
Another netizen suggested that DeLoretto-Chudy might soon have to seek a job in a different school district based on personal experience.
“ANNDDDD this is why I left public education and will never ever, ever go back,” concluded another teacher.
Termination of Employment
According to public internet records, DeLoretto-Chudy was working as a third-grade teacher at Becker Elementary School in Austin, Texas, when the incident occurred.
In a recent Tik Tok, the teacher revealed she was placed on administrative leave in March and received a termination letter as recently as early May.
She Continues To Fight For What She Believes In
Undaunted, the young educator remains a vocal political activist on her social profiles.
In March 2023, she was featured on local news as a protestor in a rally for increasing public school funds.
“I teach at a bilingual school, and we didn’t have Spanish-English dictionaries in our classroom. It is basic supplies. And teachers are being asked to provide for their students,” said DeLoretto-Chudy, who also alleges to have spent hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket on classroom supplies.
She Continues To Fight For What She Believes In
While DeLoretto-Chudy’s time at the Austin school might have come to an end, she remains a committed advocate to multiple social causes.
Her online presence shows her continuous support for LGBTQ rights, immigrant welfare, and gun control, among other issues. Whether she chooses to return to teaching (outside of her district or state) remains to be seen.
Read More: The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated
Teachers have seen it all. So we asked them: what was the worst thing they had ever confiscated from a student?
Their answers would be enough to put you off the teaching career for life.
Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was
When Mom’s away, Dad and son will play.
Read More: Teaching or Chatting?
Did you know that up to 45% of all Americans have a side gig? Do you?
We found probably one of the most enjoyable, rewarding ways to earn money by teaching (chatting) with those who want to learn English online. Log in any time you want, 24/7, and get paid weekly for the hours you put in.
Read More: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right
To a child, parents’ rules and restrictions may seem arbitrary and controlling. While the occasional rule might be strict, hindsight usually reveals that—more often than not—a parent’s intuition was right.
Read More: Transgender Man Wants To Use The Male Toilets But Feels Uncomfortable— Seeks Advice on Social Media
Do men care who’s in the restroom with them? The debate over gender-neutral bathrooms has usually centered around women’s restrooms. As the conversation continues, trans men have also begun to voice their concerns.
This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source: @soph4president on TikTok. All images are from Shutterstock.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.