EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline under board investigation

Jul 13, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2023, 7:43 pm

Natalie Cline (Utah State Board of Education)...

Natalie Cline (Utah State Board of Education)

(Utah State Board of Education)

SALT LAKE CITY  — Some recent comments over a staff member’s gender orientation, recent social media posts, and one other unknown situation involving Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline are being investigated by the State Board of Education for possible violation of board bylaws.

USBE auditors confirm those are three of 87 complaints made against Cline since around the time she was last publicly reprimanded by the board, in September of 2021.

Spokeswoman Kelsey James said the board hotline has received over 1,000 complaints during that same time period. The hotline is open for comments related to any educational topic, not just complaints about board members.

Those 87 complaints were about 22 different topics, the USBE auditor said.

“We have received a number of concerns by the hotline about member Cline,” James said. “We’ve also received a number of positive constituent feedback about Cline.”

At the time of this writing, KSL Newsradio is still awaiting the details of a public records request outlining the nature of each of those complaints.

“Schools are complicit in grooming children …”

Board reps confirm at least two matters, the recent comments about the staff member and a recent social media post alleging schools are complicit in grooming children for sex trafficking by giving kids easy access to ‘explicit, unnatural, and twisted sexual content brainwashing them into queer, gender bending ideologies’, have been referred to board leadership.

KSL NewsRadio has also learned that seven members of the board called a meeting with Chair Jim Moss Tuesday night to demand Cline be publicly reprimanded again.

The last time Cline was censured for comments deemed as marginalizing LGBTQ+ students, the board required she put a disclaimer before each social media post. Cline did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Board Chair Jim Moss initially agreed to an interview, then sent a prepared statement to KSL NewsRadio because of the demands of his workday.

USBE leadership strongly disapproves of recent social media statements by one board member that schools are “complicit in the grooming of children for sex trafficking” and “brainwashing them into queer, gender bending ideologies.

Such an allegation against schools generally is inflammatory, divisive and unfair to Utah’s teachers, who put Utah’s students first every day and interfere with efforts to provide thoughtful solutions to difficult issues. We also condemn any harassment or discrimination against teachers or students on the basis of sexual orientation as provided by Utah law. 

Comments about a USBE staff member

The most recent comments being investigated, and the possible board violation stems from a presentation Cline gave last month as part of an organization she runs called Higher Ground at the Taylorsville Library.

 

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Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline under board investigation