Teachers’ boss warns of ‘deeply troubling’ lack of transparency

A teacher who resigned over a video he produced about the Bible is facing disciplinary action after a hearing in Georgia’s Supreme Court. 

Kirsten Jones, who teaches at a public school in Georgia, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of “disturbing the peace and inciting a breach of peace”, but her case has yet to be resolved.

Her lawyer, Michael Walser, told the court that the case had been referred to a magistrate judge and that a judge would issue a decision on whether to dismiss the charges against Ms Jones in August.

Ms Jones, a certified teacher of the Bible at the University of Georgia, was among a group of teachers at a Christian-run Christian school in the state who took part in a video called “God’s Word: A Christian Perspective on God’s Word” in 2015.

It featured a clip of Mr Trump saying that God has spoken to him, and that he is the only one who can heal the nation. 

It sparked a national outcry, with many Christians and their supporters denouncing it as a blatant attack on the faith of their fellow Americans.

Ms Jones said at the time that the video was produced to give a voice to Christians in a country with a history of anti-Christian attitudes.

“I don’t think God has any intention of hurting the United States of America,” she told the BBC.

However, after the video became widely circulated, Ms Jones was forced to resign.

In the days following the incident, Ms Moore, a former teacher who was a member of Ms Jones’s congregation, told local media that she was shocked by her former teacher’s decision to quit.

“I think it was a shock.

She just didn’t have the courage to stand up to a person who had been in her position for so long,” Ms Moore said.

Mr Walserr, who was appointed as the new magistrate judge, told Georgia’s court that Ms Jones had pleaded guilty because she did not have the ability to defend herself, and not because she had been sexually assaulted.

“There was no evidence to support the charges that she has been charged with the sexual abuse of a student,” he said.

“This case has been presented to the magistrate judge who is the first and most competent court to consider it and to determine whether or not to dismiss it.”

The case is the latest to hit a high-profile teacher, with more than 300 people in Georgia filing complaints against Mr Trump after he used the name of a Confederate general to refer to a Confederate flag at a rally last month. 

He has since faced backlash from both his own supporters and fellow Republicans over his comments.

He was forced out of the Republican Party in 2019.