Discussing the lessons provided by her case, the veteran educator advises parents to pay close attention to books and assignments given to students.
Bonnie Manchester, 48, taught in public schools in western Massachusetts from 1999 until May 2021, when she was fired from Paul R. Baird Middle School in the town of Ludlow after she told the father of an 11-year-old girl that his daughter was transitioning to “genderqueer.” A school counselor had previously sent an email message to other staff members telling them not to tell the parents, according to court papers in a lawsuit filed in April 2022 by the girl’s parents against the town’s school committee and certain school officials.
Register staff writer Matt McDonald recently interviewed Manchester by email.
You describe yourself as a Bible-believing Christian. Describe your faith and what influence it had, if any, on your work as a public-school teacher.
I was brought up in a Christian/Messianic home. I was taught to seek God’s face daily and develop my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ through the Word of God. Teaching was a calling from a young age and gift that I took seriously, for I knew the value of education in a child’s life. The love, kindness and patience I have for my students comes from that love given to me through that relationship with Christ. The last 12 years of teaching were even more special because of personal trauma that I had to overcome. Through his grace I was able to continue to teach my students. I do what my Father in heaven requires of me. I maintained honesty, integrity and courage to speak the truth in the workplace, for the “truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). In the end, the conviction to do what is right comes from Psalms 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”Public Education ‘Has Lost Its Way,’ Says Teacher Fired by School for Telling Father of 11-Year-Old Girl About Her Gender-Identity ‘Transition’| National Catholic Register