Leah Kinyon is a former Lehi, Utah, high school teacher who was captured in a viral video urging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine and criticizing President Donald Trump.
“I hate Donald Trump. I’m going to say it. I don’t care what y’all think — Trump sucks,” she said in the viral four-minute video, which you can watch later in this article. “Don’t tattle on me to the freakin’ admin; they don’t give a crap.”
The video was first sent to Fox13 Now by a parent, Judy Storms. Heavy reached out to Kinyon and the high school principal through their school email addresses. We will add their comments into this story if it is received.
However, the school district told Fox13 that Kinyon is no longer employed there after an investigation into her comments.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. In the Video, Kinyon Says, ‘I’d Be Super Proud of You if You Chose to Get the Vaccine’
The video has been preserved on YouTube.
“I would be super proud of you if you chose to get the vaccine,” Kinyon says in the video. “We’ll just keep getting variants over and over until people get vaccinated… It could end in five seconds if people would get vaccinated.”
She was not wearing a mask in the video.
“This is my classroom, and if you guys are going to put me at risk, you’re going to hear about it,” she added. “Because I have to be here. I don’t have to be happy about the fact that there’s kids coming in here with their variants that could possibly get me or my family sick. That’s rude, and I’m not going to pretend like it’s not.”
She also told the students, “Most of y’alls parents are dumber than you. I’m going to say that out loud. My parents are freaking dumb. Okay, and the minute I figured that out, the world opened up. You don’t have to do everything your parents say. And you don’t have to believe everything your parents believe. Because most likely you’re smarter than them.”
She told another student in the video, “You can believe what you want to believe, but keep it quiet in here because I’m probably going to make fun of you. I’ll just say this, here are the topics that you’ll probably want to avoid. Politics, which you went into, because you asked me… If you don’t believe in climate change, get the hell out…. That’s pathetic that you think that, you’re the problem with the world, OK.”
2. Kinyon Is a Chemistry Teacher Who Also Criticized Former President Donald Trump in the Video, Calling Him a ‘Literal Moron’
In the video, Kinyon says she is the Gay-Straight Alliance student club adviser. According to Lehi High School’s faculty page, where she is still listed, she teaches Chemistry and Marine Biology.
She brought the club up saying, “If you’re a homophobe, get the hell out. Because I’m the GSA faculty advisor, I love gay people, all the LGBTQIA+ mother [expletive]. If you don’t like it get out. If I hear you say a damn word against any of them I will open a can and I will make your life a living hell. If you give shiz to any LGBTQ kid in the school, I will hear about it and you will be in trouble.”
In the video, she condemned former President Donald Trump, saying, “I hate Donald Trump. I’m going to say it. I don’t care what y’all think — Trump sucks. He is a sexual predator. He is a literal moron. Don’t tattle on me to the freakin’ admin; they don’t give a crap.”
A student told her: “This is a chemistry class!” She responded, “Turn off the Fox News, do your parents listen to Fox News? This is my classroom and if you guys are going to put me at risk you’re going to hear about it. Because I have to be here. I don’t have to be happy about the fact that there’s kids coming in here with their variants that could possibly get me or my family sick. That’s rude. And I’m not going to pretend like it’s not.”
3. Kinyon Supported Another Teacher Who Caused Controversy in Class by Using the Word ‘Boob’
A lot of Kinyon’s tweets are innocuous; for example, she tweeted repeatedly about a teacher scavenger hunt. She also offered her support for a teacher who was was banned from teaching after using the words boob and condom in class, according to Good Housekeeping.
Kinyon shared a Change.org petition supporting that teacher and wrote, “Alpine School District: Let RevaBeth Russell teach at Lehi High! – Sign the Petition!”
At the time, Kinyon also defended that teacher to Fox13, saying, “I can honestly understand certain students, especially here in Lehi and Utah County, being slightly offended, but to the extent that they have taken this discipline is ridiculous.”
Her full name is Laura Reber Kinyon. Her other tweets are about the stresses of moving and things like that; her Twitter page does not contain discussions of politics, and she did not have any other obvious social media pages. Her Facebook page is deleted.
4. The School District Placed Kinyon on Leave & Now Says She’s Not Employed There Anymore
The Alpine School District Sent Fox13 a statement saying the teacher was placed on leave.
Her behavior was “inappropriate,” the statement said.
“We became aware late this afternoon of an incident that took place today in one of our high school classrooms. An immediate investigation ensued. The employee has been put on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation. This behavior is inappropriate, not reflective of the professional conduct and decorum we expect of our teachers, and will not be tolerated,” the statement reads.
The later statement reads, “Alpine School District has concluded our investigation of the incident that occured (sic) on August 17, 2021 at Lehi High School. Although the details of a personnel investigation are confidential, the teacher involved is no longer an employee of Alpine School District.”
5. The Student’s Mother Says Such Speeches Are a Habit for Kinyon
According to Fox13, Storms and her son Zane said that Kinyon has a habit of giving such speeches in class.
She was aware she was being recorded, Zane told the television station.
According to Lehi Free Press, the video was recorded on the first day of classes.