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Pendleton school counselor fired for not following gender support policy

PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — The South Madison Community School Corporation board voted unanimously Thursday to fire Kathy McCord, a school counselor at Pendleton Heights High School.

McCord had been on administrative leave since December for telling other teachers not to support the district’s “Gender Support Plan,” which provides students with a confidential document they can fill out alerting school officials of their preferred pronouns.

Students can also choose to keep that information confidential from their parents or school staff.

“We all need to be tolerant, but I’m to the point in my life now where I realize someone taking a political potato masher– or in this case a ‘wokeism’ potato masher — and jamming it down my throat and saying I have to accept this…I don’t like that kind of thought,” Gary Reddick, a resident who came to the meeting in support of McCord, said.

Reddick described McCord as a “loving family person and educator.”

School board member Buck Evans said McCord lied to the board about giving the document to a reporter from the Daily Signal, a conservative news website, and making misleading and false statements about the policy to the publication.

“Even if they voted to keep her, what student is going to trust her?” Reece Axel-Adams, a recent Pendleton Heights graduate, asked.

The board said it was also bothered that McCord waited until very late in this disciplinary process to file an appeal.