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Utah charter school, 'queer' elementary teacher agree to part ways

Renaissance Academy is pictured in Lehi on Monday. After an investigation of "inappropriate conversations" between a Renaissance Academy elementary teacher and her former students, the educator and school officials have mutually agreed to part ways.

Renaissance Academy is pictured in Lehi on Monday. After an investigation of "inappropriate conversations" between a Renaissance Academy elementary teacher and her former students, the educator and school officials have mutually agreed to part ways. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

LEHI — After an investigation of "inappropriate conversations" between a Renaissance Academy elementary teacher and her former students, the educator and school officials have mutually agreed to part ways.

On Friday evening, Mark Ursic, executive director of Renaissance Academy, released the following statement: "Jenna Hall previously submitted her resignation for the 2022-2023 school year on April 19, 2022. Subsequent to the investigation earlier this week, we have mutually agreed to end our employment relationship for the current school year, effective immediately."

Hall had been on administrative leave pending an investigation of conversations she described in a video that was shared on TikTok. She states that her former students, now in fifth grade, "come visit me almost every day after school and a lot of them are queer because I am queer. So, they figured it out and so I've become their safe space."

According to the Utah State Board of Education licensing database, Hall had been licensed to teach in Utah since 2019 and has had a Local Education Agency license to teach at Renaissance Academy since fall 2020.

In an earlier statement, Ursic wrote that "the teacher describes several inappropriate conversations with former students. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation. Our teachers are expected to comport themselves with the highest degree of professionalism. Behavior that is unprofessional, in violation of state code, or that violates the trust placed in us by the families of Renaissance Academy will not be tolerated."

In the video, Hall also said, "I'm so happy that they are figuring out who they are and that they're happy with who they are and they've found safe space. But man, I could never imagine being in fifth grade saying these things out loud, even though I know they're all OK. I grew up super religious where nothing was OK. And so seeing this happen."

Renaissance Academy, a public charter school in Lehi, serves about 750 students in grades K-8.

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Utah CountyUtah K-12 educationUtah
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