Bourne School Committee member Kari MacRae was terminated from her job as a math and business teacher at Hanover High School over social media posts that have caused controversy in the Bourne Public Schools over the past month.
Ms. MacRae posted a TikTok video in May stating the reason she ran for school committee in Bourne was “to ensure that students, at least in our town, are not being taught critical race theory...and so they’re not being taught that they can choose whether or not they can be a girl or a boy.”
This video, along with other posts on her account, has led the Bourne Educators Association, district administrators and some members of the community to call for her resignation from the school board.
As she was elected to her position in Bourne, Ms. MacRae can only be removed from the school committee by her own resignation or by a recall vote. She has stated that she will not resign from the committee.
However, in Hanover, Ms. MacRae was terminated from her full-time position as a math and business teacher. She said she was put on paid administrative leave on September 23 and received a letter of termination from Hanover High School's principal, Matthew Mattos, on September 29.
“Having considered your input, I have determined that continuing your employment in light of your social media posts would have a significant negative impact on student learning at Hanover High School. Therefore, the district is hereby exercising its option to terminate your employment as a teacher,” she read aloud from the letter in a telephone interview with the Enterprise.
Hanover Public Schools Superintendent Matthew A. Ferron confirmed Ms. MacRae’s termination.
Ms. MacRae started teaching at Hanover High School in September. She has been a teacher for seven years in other districts but took a year off during the 2020-2021 school year to take care of her mother, who was ill, she said.
Massachusetts school districts can dismiss teachers within the first 90 days of their employment with or without cause under the state statute governing teacher dismissals.
Ms. MacRae said she tried to challenge her termination, but there is no process to appeal, as she was in the district for less than 90 days.
She has been communicating with lawyers, she said.
“I don’t think it was a lawful firing, and it is unfortunate because I’m not just going to accept it,” she said. “I tried to grieve it and go through the process, but I am definitely going to get a lawyer and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
The Massachusetts GOP is supporting Ms. MacRae.
Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman James J. Lyons Jr. said her termination is a First Amendment violation in a press release on October 7.