An Illinois elementary art teacher has been fired after several of the teacher’s social media posts sparked concerns amongst parents for their children’s safety. The teacher, known as Kris Martin on Facebook, was first brought to the attention of social media users by Libs of TikTok, a conservative social media watchdog that reposts concerning social media posts, typically by teachers or librarians sharing explicit materials with minors. Libs of TikTok shared several screenshots of alleged posts of the teacher, who had been recently hired by Homer Consolidated School District 33C in Homer Glen, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. One alleged post from the teacher from 2018 stated, “I HAVE BIPOLAR 1 DISORDER WITH MANIA AND PSYCHOSIS… I have done things in conditions of psychosis and mania that have been violent and hurtful.” The teacher’s alleged posts also included images of pentagrams, “hail Satan,” and a cover photo in 2017 of a young girl covered in blood with hands over her also covered in blood. Other alleged posts by the teacher on Instagram shared personality results such as being “99% a—hole” and that “Satan has nothing on you. The residents of hell are running a campaign for you to take your rightful place as their king.”

 The social media posts quickly sparked concerns among parents, who called for the teacher to be investigated. On August 17th, the District Superintendent, Dr. Craig Schoppe, sent a letter to parents announcing that the situation was being investigated. “While the district cannot speak on matters of personnel for individual employees, I do want parents to know that I have heard your concerns, understand the issues highlighted by the community, and am investigating the situation,” Dr. Schoppe wrote. The teacher’s classes were canceled pending the investigation. A special board meeting was then held on August 20th, with numerous parents sharing their concerns. One parent shared their disbelief at the school’s incompetence in hiring the teacher, saying, “Hiring a teacher with unpredictable behavior for elementary school is neglectful. As elected officials for Homer Glen schools, it is your job to do what is right for our children. That includes doing your due diligence when hiring new teachers and staff members. The technology we have is at our fingertips. This should be caught. Social media is a public forum. If this person is saying and posting this publicly, what will he do behind closed doors with our children?” 

After parents voiced their concerns, the board voted to immediately fire the teacher. In a statement released by the superintendent, the board apologized for the situation. “Though extraordinarily rare, there are times that process may not be flawless,” the statement said. “However, when additional information that is legally relevant to an individual’s ability to work safely and successfully in the district does come to our attention, we take the time to consider that information and then take appropriate action.” 

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