A California mother of three found herself entangled in a controversy after claiming she was fired from her job for expressing concerns about the curriculum in her local school district. Here’s the full story.
Janet Roberson, a resident of Benicia, spoke at a Benicia Unified School District (BUSD) meeting on April 20, where she voiced her objections to the district’s sexual education curriculum.
She Objected to the Sexual Education Curriculum
During the BUSD meeting, Roberson raised issues about the sexual education curriculum’s approach to topics such as gender and puberty blockers.
This Is Beyond the Requirements
She said, “Children are being asked to identify their pronouns and this is now part of the ten-year-old curriculum. This forces a gender discussion beyond the scope of the state requirements and complicates an already overburdened classroom environment.”
This Should Not Be Taught
Roberson argued, “Teaching kids that there isn’t standard or truth and that you can believe anything that you want to believe is not correct.
For example, the notion that a girl can decide to be a boy, or a boy can decide to be a girl is not true and should not be taught.”
She Made a Website
In response to the curriculum concerns, Roberson started a website and shared a video detailing her perspective, which gained traction on social media platforms.
She Explained Her View
She emphasized her desire for responsible education that respects the boundaries of children’s developmental stages and encourages thoughtful discourse.
However, Roberson’s advocacy did not escape criticism from some members of her community.
In a letter to the editor published in the Benecia Times-Herald, community resident William “Billy” Innes accused Roberson’s statements of being a “bigoted diatribe.”
Innes likened her beliefs to “racist, homophobic, transphobic” views.
Things Took a Turn
The conflict escalated further when Roberson’s employer, Compass, informed her that she could no longer do business with the company, claiming that she was not an employee but an independent contractor.
Anti-Trans and Racist
Nathalie Christian, associated with the Progressive Democrats of Benicia, inquired about Roberson’s “conduct” and criticized her views as “anti-equity, anti-trans, anti-Black, and anti-choice.”
The Company Responded
Christian’s letter to Compass questioned the company’s association with Roberson’s alleged beliefs.
In response, Compass maintained that Roberson’s status as an independent contractor led to the termination of her association with the company.
She Was Fired
Roberson expressed her “shock” at the company’s response, feeling that it contradicted what she was initially told about her departure.
It Was Stressful
“It’s been tremendously stressful, absolutely devastating to my family … Hopefully, people will be inspired to just be courageous and strong and supportive of each other,” Roberson said.
She Cannot Go After Her Employer
Because of anti-strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) laws in California, Roberson is unable to protect herself or go after those who have damaged her career because their words are considered political rhetoric.
She’s Entitled to Her Opinion
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “She said her opinion about the ideology! Why are they angry?”
Another user added, “She needs to sue her employer into bankruptcy. There must be some lawyers who would take her case to help destroy them.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.