MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF) — Back to school means getting to know your students—their names, for starters, and maybe a few fun facts or their favorite summer memories.
Sam Carbonetti decided to give students in his eighth grade humanities class at Irasburg Village School the choice of sharing their preferred pronouns—he/him, she/her, they/them—during introductions. That didn’t go over well with some, including Vermont state Sen. Russ Ingalls, a Republican who shared a Facebook post encouraging people to email the teacher with their concerns. In his post, Ingalls said that “many in the class felt uncomfortable.”
Carbonetti responded on Twitter, saying Ingalls “doxxed” him by revealing the classroom activity. “Anti-equity folks are calling for my job. How was your first week of school?”
Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint said Ingalls’ involvement was inappropriate for a person in his position. “We’re looking at a letter of reprimand of some kind. Perhaps it will go before the Senate Rules Committee,” she said. “There’s a lot of details I still need to get from him before I determine next steps.”
Balint said she’s trying to contact Ingalls. “I do take it very seriously,” she said. “I do not want any community to feel like a House member or a senator is using their position and their authority to intimidate other people. That is not our job.”
In the meantime, she says she reviewed legislative rules Monday about what actions could be taken. But most predate social media.
Ingalls could not be reached for comment, and Carbonetti referred us to Orleans Supervisory Superintendent Penny Chamberlin. “I am not interested in keeping this thread going with media,” she said. “We are focused on opening our schools safely and are currently dealing with contact tracing. I need to put my energy this week into safety for our students and schools.”