CHERRY CREEK – A parent from Cherry Creek is speaking out about their children’s education after a Pine Valley School history teacher gained national coverage from protesting COVID-19 mandates in school.
Pine Valley School History Teacher Angela Bittinger first spoke out during a town hall meeting last month. She has gained a plethora of supporters, but not everybody takes the same stance.
A communications specialist and mother of three, Amber Rinehart has a child in Bittinger’s class. All of her children go to Pine Valley, and she says the situation is more complex than what is in the news.
Rinehart explains that as an educator herself, she worries that Bittinger’s teaching methods, and rhetoric about the mandates, will impact children negatively.
“I’ve been a college professor for the past 16 years, and my specialization is in communication. I specialize in language and how it’s specifically used to manipulate,” says Rinehart. “So seeing this happen anywhere is terrifying coming from a teacher, but particularly in my hometown where my child has been in that class, and I have firsthand knowledge of the things that have been said in that class that are extraordinarily inappropriate and biased.”
The parent claims that her daughter’s teacher is forcing her opinions on her students. Furthermore, she says Bittinger is using the situation to distract from the district’s investigation.
“I can’t speak to that specifically because that is all part of the investigation that’s ongoing. But the idea that the stance is about just the vaccine mandate, it’s not true. That’s only a very very small part of it. That’s an easy thing to throw, you know, the blame at,” says Rinehart. “You can say well that’s why I’m getting in trouble. It takes a very very complicated situation, and it makes me the scapegoat out of it, and that’s very very dangerous when people start doing that. Especially people in the education system.”
Overall, the consensus Rinehart comes to is that we should all respect each other, and we need to learn to agree to disagree. She says at the end of the day the children are who are suffering the most.
A hearing part of the investigation into Bittinger’s teaching methods was held on Tuesday. Bittinger tells WNY News Now that the school is now looking into her social media posting about the school. Bittinger says she is consulting with a constitutional rights lawyer.