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School district says Lehi teacher no longer employed after comments to students

Posted at 9:48 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 19:46:22-04

LEHI, Utah — The Alpine School District says a Lehi High School teacher is no longer employed by the district after an investigation into a video that showed her making controversial remarks to students while in class.

Chemistry teacher Leah Kinyon spoke about COVID vaccines, former President Donald Trump and the intelligence of students' parents in the video recorded by a student and shared with FOX 13 by his mother, Judy Storms.

Kinyon was immediately placed on leave after the video surfaced, with district officials saying an investigation would take place. Following the investigation Wednesday morning, Alpine school officials announced Kinyon was no longer employed by the district.

"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," the district said in a statement.

It's not known if Kinyon was fired or resigned her position.

Leah Kinyon
Leah Kinyon

Kinyon's recorded comments have made news across the country as she talks at great length on a series of subjects.

"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."

The teacher was not wearing a mask while making the comments.

"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 expressed disapproval of former 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. "Don't tattle on me to the freakin' admin; they don't give a crap."

She also tells students that "most of" their parents "are dumber than you," and they don't need to do everything their parents say or believe what they believe.

At least one student can be heard debating with the teacher, although it was not clear exactly what the student said. In response, Kinyon says: "You can believe what you want to believe, but keep it quiet in here because I'm probably going to make fun of you."

"That's pathetic that you think that," she adds later in the video as she and one student discuss climate change. "You're the problem with the world."

Kinyon also told her class homophobia would not be tolerated as she is the school's Gay-Straight Alliance adviser.

"If I hear you say a damn word about them [members of the LGBTQIA+ community], I will open a can, and I will make your life a living hell," she added.

The Alpine School District responded to FOX 13's inquiry with the following statement:

"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."

Storms and her son Zane say speeches like these are a habit for Kinyon. Zane also said she was aware she was being recorded.

The full video can be seen here: