Cobb County teacher fired because of book discusses the importance of centering students in literature

Katie Rinderle, a Cobb County teacher, shares her story on “Closer Look” about why she was fired from the district. (LaShawn Hudson/WABE)

Veteran educator Katie Rinderle believes education is the foundation of democracy. She says her personal pedagogy in the classroom is centered around students.

While reflecting on the process of choosing reading materials for her students, Rinderle says she tries to select books that are representative of her students.

“Choosing books that allow opportunity for them to engage in discussion,” said Rinderle.

The Cobb County elementary school teacher was recently fired after the district’s school board voted 4-3, citing that she violated district policies for reading the book “My Shadow Is Purple” by Scott Stuart, to her fifth-grade class.

“It was never clear to me what policy I broke and how this book was divisive,” explained Rinderle. “I even asked and was told that it was not my place to ask.”

On Tuesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Rinderle along with her attorney, Craig Goodmark, talked with show host Rose Scott about Rinderle’s termination and the actions they are now taking.

“Closer Look” received the following statement from a Cobb County Schools District spokesperson:

“The District is confident the actions of the Board were appropriate considering the entirety of the teacher’s behavior and history. The District remains committed to strictly enforcing all Board policy and the law.”