The Utah Legislature censured Natalie Cline last week; some say that action does not go far enough

Feb 20, 2024, 10:27 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 6:44 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of people gathered on the south steps of the Utah Capitol Tuesday night to let lawmakers know the action they took last week against Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline didn’t go far enough.

“We came with copies of the resolution with the word ‘impeach’ on them,” said teacher John Arthur.

Holding signs on a wet, gloomy evening, the group was calm, but focused on delivering their message.

“The level of egregiousness of what she did is unprecedented in the state of Utah,” said Greg Green.

Green is referring to a recent post on social media by Cline, questioning the gender of a teen athlete.

“Quite honestly, a board member should be defending public education, they should be defending students, they should be protecting students, and we don’t see any of that in Natalie Cline,” Green said.

The post sparked public outrage.

On Feb. 14, the board formally censured Cline, removing her from all standing board committees and assignments, prohibiting her from placing items on upcoming board agendas and barring her from attending board advisory committee meetings. The Utah Legislature has since censured her as well. But those at the ‘sit-in’ Tuesday night said those actions aren’t enough.

Utah State Board of Education votes to strip Natalie Cline of board powers, asks her to resign

“It’s a terrifying thought that as a classroom teacher, there are some things you cannot protect your students from,” Arthur said.

Arthur was named Utah Teacher of the Year in 2021. He teaches sixth grade.

“You would hope, you would trust that you would never have to protect them from the state school board’s members,” Arthur said.

Cline announced Monday she intends to run for reelection.

“I would want to make sure she does not run again,” Green said.

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Council also called for an immediate resignation of Cline. They also extended their support to the young athlete, her family and teammates who have been affected.

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The Utah Legislature censured Natalie Cline last week; some say that action does not go far enough