Texas teacher fired for saying pedophiles should be called “minor-attracted persons,” but was it sarcasm?

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Steven Santana

San Antonio Express-News

The El Paso ISD school board announced the firing of a teacher at Franklin High School on Tuesday, September 6, after she was recorded saying that students should call pedophiles “minor-attracted persons,” or MAPs. The school board authorized unanimously that the superintendent start the termination process of teacher Amber Parker, reported El Paso station KVIA.

In the video that went viral on social media last week, Parker can be heard telling students to “stop calling them that.”

“Stop it. We’re not going to call them that,” Parker can be heard saying in the video. “We’re going to call them MAPs. Minor-attracted persons. So don’t judge people just because they want to have sex with a 5-year-old.”

School board president Al Velarde said at the Tuesday meeting that the investigation into the incident was complete but the district had to follow a termination process set out by the Texas Education Agency.

“So this is really the beginning of the process,” Velarde said.

KVIA reports that parents found the remarks “concerning,” but one person on social media claiming to be a student said that the teacher’s remarks were taken out of context and was used as an example to teach kids about The Crucible.

An El Paso ISD board member, Daniel Call, echoed the claim in a post to his Facebook page on August 31, saying Parker was “pretending to advocate a position she didn’t actually believe in order to challenge the students in preparation for them reading the book The Crucible.” He said his own nephew was in the class.

“The video that many of us saw was missing this important context,” Call said in the post. “I regret the negative attention that this situation has brought on this teacher and wish her well. I’m told she is a great educator.”

Still, the vote to start Parker’s termination process was unanimous, 7-0, meaning Call voted in favor of firing the teacher on Tuesday.

Through a general search on TikTok, it appears the original video has since been taken down. However, screen recordings of the video have been re-shared by accounts that also share far-right conspiracy theories and a recent movement to keep discussions about race or gender out of public schools. This movement has led to anti-transgender policies at one Texas school district.

MySA reached out to El Paso ISD for comment.

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