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Teacher at taxpayer-funded private Christian school forced out for being gay

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A private Christian school in Florida that receives taxpayer funding for school vouchers has forced out one of its teachers, she says, because she is gay.

Monica Toro Lisciandro says Covenant Christian School in Palm Bay, Florida not only parted ways with her after she acknowledged she is gay when school administrators asked her, but her students were told her “morals” did not line up with the schools, Lisciandro says.

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The school questioned Lisciandro, who teaches theater, after someone called to report saying they had seen her at a pride event.

“Lisciandro said the assistant principal told her the school received word that Lisciandro was in a relationship with a woman, she had attended a pride festival, and she hosted an LGBTQ group in her studio,” Florida Today reports.

“Well, it’s true,” she told the assistant principal.

“I want kids to see me and know that you can be a Christian and you can be gay,” Lisciandro tells Florida today (video below). “You can be gay, you can teach at a Christian school. You don’t have to feel shame about who you love, or who you are, or how you were born to be.”

Covenant Christian School has come under fire recently after reports found the school’s handbook says students can be expelled for being gay. Florida offers no protections for LGBTQ employees, and faith-based schools and workplaces are often exempt from laws that protect LGBTQ people. That handbook has since been removed from the school’s website.

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The school also blamed her for leaving.

“I am sorry to say that for personal reasons, Mrs. Lisciandro is not able to continue teaching our musical theater class. We are aggressively pursuing another teacher to finish the class and (direct) our play, and I will keep you posted,” Head of School Lorne Wenzel wrote in an email sent to parents.

Covenant Christian participates in the State of Florida’s school voucher program. That program has come under fire for its anti-LGBTQ policies. One opinion writer, citing the school’s policy of expelling students who are gay, observed, “the line separating church from state has been crossed.”

Those vouchers help offset the school’s tuition. Fees and tuition combined can reach over $8600 per year per student. The school also asks for a voluntary “faith pledge,” or donation, of around $500 per family.

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Video via Florida Today:


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Hong Kong protesters defy Tiananmen vigil ban

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Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters defied a ban against gathering at a park to commemorate Thursday's anniversary of China's deadly Tiananmen crackdown, with tensions seething in the financial hub over a planned new security law.

The semi-autonomous city had for three decades seen huge vigils to remember those killed when China's communist leaders deployed its military into Beijing's Tiananmen Square to crush a student-led movement for democratic reforms.

This year's vigil was banned, with authorities citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings.

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Rudy Giuliani melts down after Piers Morgan calls him ‘completely barking mad’ in train wreck interview

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Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani went completely off the rails during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on Thursday after Morgan confronted the former New York mayor about some of President Donald Trump's inflammatory tweets.

During the interview, Morgan demanded to know why it was acceptable for Trump to send out a tweet that promoted the shooting of looters.

Giuliani insisted that the media had taken Trump's tweet out of context, and Morgan responded by calling that assertion "total claptrap."

"You keep saying that it's the left-wing media that has somehow misquoted Donald Trump," Morgan said. "The president of the United States' job, when this kind of thing happens, is to keep temperatures down, not to put fuel on the fire. For the president of the United States to tweet that 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts,' directly quoting a racist police chief... who used dogs and guns on black people."

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2020 Election

MSNBC’s Morning Joe scorches GOP senators for following Trump ‘over the cliff’ to election losses

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough hammered Senate Republicans for following President Donald Trump "over a cliff."

The "Morning Joe" host said the GOP had suffered losses in every election cycle since Trump won, and he said the president was a threat to his own party.

"All Republican incumbents who are endangered politicians," Scarborough said. "What bargain did they make that is worth following this man over the cliff? Who, right now, in early June, is on his way to losing in a landslide of his own?"

"These polls that we're going to show you in a minute are just a snapshot of where we are at the beginning of June," he added. "Things can change, but if they do change, it will be the first time in almost four years that elections have broken Donald Trump's way."

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