Substitute teacher Kaycee Cook was fired from McCormick Junior High located in Cheyenne, Wyoming after reporting the distribution of anti-gay and racist flyers. Cook was a co-sponsor of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA).
A student group calling themselves “The Confederate Kid Club,” posted and distributed flyers reading, “It’s great to be straight, it’s not OK to be gay, “Black lives only matter because if it weren’t for them who would pick our cotton,” and “Join the KKK.”
Cook said she received a termination email on Wednesday, March 27 from Principal Jeff Conine. She believes Conine made the decision after she reached out to Wyoming Equality, a local LGBTQ advocacy group.
“Unfortunately, I think Principal Conine wants to minimize the incident and not see it as a part of a larger trend,” Cook told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
Cook has garnered support from LGBTQ students, ACLU Wyoming, NAACP’s local chapter, and Wyoming Equality. On March 29, the organizations and supporters gathered together for a “Response of Love” at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cheyenne.
Another community event has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 3 at the Allen Chapel.
Prior to Cook’s termination, Conine told The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, that he thought that the flyers were an isolated incident. “I don’t believe this is a prevailing sentiment that exists in the school,” he said.
Update, April 2, 3:57 p.m. EDT
Laramie County School District 1 has identified at least one student likely responsible for creating and distributing the flyers. According to school district superintendent Boyd Brown, Cook will likely be reinstated at the school.
Brown also said that following the incident, principals, guidance counselors, and school resource officers met with McCormick’s black students and GSA members to make sure they felt safe. Students will also receive a lesson about discriminatory bullying on Monday when they return from spring break.