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Utah Education Association condemns 'grooming' remarks made by Board of Education member

Posted at 4:08 PM, Aug 08, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Education Association is condemning recent remarks made by a state Board of Education member who said schools were "complicit" in grooming children for sex trafficking.

Natalie Cline posted her comments to social media on July 4, adding that schools also brainwash children into "queer, gender bending ideologies."

A week later, the Utah Board of Education said they strongly disapproved of Cline's comments, but did not punish the first term member.

In Tuesday's statement, the Utah Education Association said they were "deeply troubled" over the Board's failure to take action against Cline and her "toxic words."

"Teachers play a vital role in shaping the future of our society by nurturing and educating our students. Labeling them with such baseless accusations undermines their dedication and erodes the trust between educators, students, parents and the community," the statement from UEA President Renee Pinkney reads.

The UEA asked Cline to apologize for the comments that attacked "the educators who tirelessly serve Utah’s children."

Cline, who was elected to the Board in 2020, has been previously accused of making homophobic, transphobic and racist comments. The Board investigated Cline for alleged inappropriate comments made about another member in June, but did not take action due to lack of sufficient evidence.