After failing to attend parent-teacher conferences due to a spontaneous cat costuming session, Franklin English teacher Elizabeth Kirsch is facing backlash from parents in the form of a protest. The angry parents plan to assemble outside of her M-222 classroom on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week, according to a leaked email exchange.
Sources familiar with Kirsch tell The Franklin Post that she had uploaded photos of her cats to various social media outlets during conference week, in which they adorned costumes that sources could only describe as, “rough around the edges.” A close friend of Kirsch, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells us that she “had only planned to make one costume that night, but ended up feeling bad for the other cat that did not have one.” Kirsch subsequently lost track of time cutting out craft foam and was not present for conferences that night. An estimated 150 parents were lined up outside Kirsch’s door waiting to hear how well-behaved their students were.
Later that evening, public Facebook posts began popping up around the Southeast Portland area calling for revenge on Kirsch after leaving them waiting for hours in the main hall. One parent of a freshman student who attends Kirsch’s journalism class said of Kirsch: “I’m tired of these teachers putting cats before kids. Now I’ll never know what she meant on my son’s report card when she said ‘Commendable; enjoy having your student in class!’ She must be on catnip!” Other posts surrounding Kirsch were unfit for print.
The following weekend saw parents getting increasingly angry at Kirsch and beginning to organize in private channels. A parent CC’d on a massive email thread allowed The Post a closer look at how this week’s protests came to be. “I WOULD say we should gather in front of her door next week just as we did on conference night,” says one furious parent, “but she’ll probably be at PetSmart waiting for her cats’ massages to finish!”
This is not the first time Kirsch has been reported missing in action due to her feline friends. In August of last year, Kirsch missed the entire first day of school because she, “had some car trouble.” She did not expand on what exactly the car trouble was, but was inexplicably covered in elaborate makeup which made her look like her eldest cat, Mr. Socks.
Other emails in the chain suggested various chants to recite outside of Kirsch’s room. “What do we want? Conferences with Kirsch! When do we want them? MEOW!” One parent proposed signs with pictures that would say, “Catnapping on the job?” and “Not our PURR-ferred teacher!”
The angry moms then took to Instagram, posting poorly photoshopped images of kittens behind bars with the hashtags #ConvictedFeline and #KirschCATastrophe. The topics began trending in the area overnight.
Kirsch declined to comment on the issue, instead attaching 46 photos to her reply email of her cats dressed as other cats. When we followed up about the photos, she declined to comment again. The Franklin Post would like to remind students to be safe this week while the protests are happening. It is unclear how Kirsch’s students are to attend her class on Monday.