Pro-BLM teacher forced out of South Carolina school for claiming it was ‘white supremacy’ to call theft a crime
A pro-BLM teacher forced out of her job at a South Carolina school over a video that stated black Americans built this country and thus have the right to ‘burn the motherf***er to the ground’ has a new job teaching middle-schoolers in Maryland.
Once an eighth-grade history teacher at the school in small-town Hilton Head, non binary instructor Lane Cogdill was moved schools two summers ago over the since deleted TikTok video, which at the time sparked debates and even death threats for Cogdill.
Amid the backlash, the teacher – also an avid TikToker with a pronounced social media following – was transferred to a nearby adult education center in Beaufort amid calls for Codgill’s firing.
The controversy would soon sputter out, while Cogdill would continue posting progressive, often polarizing content after being reprimanded by the district’s superintendent and school principal.
Now, it appears Codgill – who uses ‘ze/zir,’ ‘they/them’ and ‘he/him’ pronouns – is back to teaching kids and posting problematic snippets, including some that insist that concealing student’s gender changes are part of her school’s policy.
Staffers at Silver Spring International Middle School – whose website lists Codgill as a staffer – this week reportedly said they are ‘looking into’ their new employee’s checkered past.
‘Hey y’all, I have some thoughts about what’s going on in the world as a history teacher who cares about racial justice,’ Cogdill says in the since-deleted clip that got her moved from Hilton Head Island Middle School back in June of 2020, when protests broke out across the US over the police brutality death of George Floyd.
The teacher continues: ‘I keep hearing people say, I understand protesting, but I don’t understand rioting and looting, and let me just remind y’all that this country was literally built by black people.
‘Black people’s bodies were literally the currency that our white founding fathers used to fund the revolution,’ Cogdill says, before declaring: ‘So as far as I’m concerned, as a white person and as a history teacher, if your ancestors built this country, you have the right to burn the motherf***er to the ground.’
Roughly three weeks later, a parent posted a link to the video to Facebook, while also sending a link to Cogdill’s principal at time, Pat Freda, as well as Beaufort County School District’s human resources director.
Almost instantly, parents angered over the contents of Cogdill’s demanded staffers address the incident, with the teacher – who at the time had been employed by the public school for two years – reporting they were receiving death threats.
The district would reprimand Cogdill on July 18 – more than a month after the video’s posting – citing the instructor’s use of profanity and encouragement of violence, both of which came in stark violation of Beaufort County School District police
Aside from a note in Cogdill’s personnel file, the reprimand consisted of Cogdill, a month later, being reassigned to the Beaufort County School District Adult Education.
The maneuver saw the school staffer kept on as a district employee – a decision officials reportedly arrived at after receiving a rebuttal letter from Cogdill, who identifies as nonbinary and uses the term of address Mx. instead of Mr. or Ms.
A school district spokesperson confirmed the transfer at the time, but declined to provide additional details due to it being ‘a personnel matter.’
Many in the predominantly conservative neighborhood were not satisfied with the district’s court of action, displaying a desire for a harsher punishment considering the offense and the teacher’s other content – which includes advice to transitioning kids to how to conceal their gender from parents, and rants on systemic racism.
Wile being subject to this backlash, a defiant Cogdill called on the district to reconsider the reassignment, saying several from the community, including some parents of their former students, wrote emails of support in keeping Cogdill on at the middle school.
At the time, Cogdill told The Island Packet: ‘I knew reassignment was a possibility, but it still comes as a punch in the gut when I’ve committed myself to this school for the last two years teaching, coaching softball, and doing other extracurricular activities.
‘I’m very much part of the school community,’ she said.
The district, however, insisted that was continuing to gets calls and emails from parents unhappy over the TikTok video incident, so the reassignment stayed.
Cogdill, meanwhile, continued to insist that because they did not share their TikTok account with any students, she should not have been subject to any punishment.
Cogdill also cited a stipulation given by district officials that the situation and ensuing controversy ‘impaired’ their behavior to do their job properly.
‘It said the district reserved the right to take further action if it became clear when school came back in the fall that the situation had impaired my ability to teach effectively,’ Codgill said.
They added: ‘I disagree with the district reprimanding me for that. However, I was willing to just accept it and move on. I think that there’s an issue there of teachers having a right to free speech.’
Still, calls for Codgill’s firing continued, with the social media influencer reportedly receiving death threats on posts to social media that defended their stance against the district.
One such post read: ‘Maybe the burning and destruction she wholeheartedly embraces could start at her school while she’s working and maybe burn her car up. I’m sure she would be OK with that.’
The comment spurred Cogdill to file a report with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, asking police investigate the threat.
‘There’s a difference to me between rude comments and direct threats,’ they told local reporters at the time.
At the time, Cogdill retained a lawyer, but said they did not plan to pursut a suit against the school district or any other party. ‘People have asked me if I regret what I said, and I don’t,’ Cogdill said of the controversy they faced over the video.
‘Is that a statement I would ever say in the classroom? Absolutely not. But I didn’t make the statement in my classroom.’
Now, more than two and a half years later, it appears that Cogdill has been employed elsewhere, now working as history teacher at Silver Spring International Middle School, a predominantly progressive nabe just outside of the Washington DC.
The school’s presiding district, Montgomery County Public Schools, lists Cogdill as an employee, though it is not clear when their employment began. DailyMail.com reached out to the district on Sunday for comment as to the status of their employment.
The district on Sunday reportedly told Fox News they were ‘looking into’ Cogdill’s history, but that they also could not ‘comment further because it is a personnel matter.’
DailyMail.com also asked whether district officials to address Cogdill’s continued assertions that the district has a policy on hiding students’ transitions transitions, something the teacher has touted in several recent videos.
The district did not immediately issue a response to those inquiries.
Cogdill described the discretion they give their students in a recent clip: ‘I always ask a trans or questioning student as soon as I find out what is the name you prefer? What pronouns do you prefer? Who else knows?
‘And how would you like me to refer to you when I speak to your family, to the administrators, to other teachers, in front of other students? Some students ask me not to disclose their identity, and that’s a promise I always honor.’
The teacher added, ‘I can’t imagine breaking a single trans or non-binary student’s trust by sharing details about their gender identity with anyone… especially their parents, their counselors and their administrators.’
Of their pronouns and respective gender identity, Cogdill says: “The pronouns they mostly affirm me are ze/zir or they/them or he/him. My title is Mx. Cogdill – Mx. – rather than Ms. or Mr. And I ask my students… to use Mx. instead of ma’am or sir.
‘I changed my name to Lane because it’s gender-neutral. I also go by Theo, which is affirming because my masculinity is not always recognized by other people.’
The add in a separate clip: ‘Some people identify as genderfluid, meaning their gender… fluidly changes between masculine and feminine and agender or other identities. Agender means the person doesn’t identify as or with gender at all, just like off the gender planet entirely.
‘There’s also genderqueer, which is kind of the one that best fits me, which means I’m just not a man and just not a woman. But my gender is… definitely queer.’
Online, Cogdill has more than 10,000 followers, and has amassed more than 100,00 likes over three years of posting. They said they do not accept follow requests from any students.