St. Clair County Schools Superintendent Justin Burns responded to claims a substitute teacher told a middle school class there are 48 genders.

While the details of the incident cannot be revealed due to privacy concerns, the school system thoroughly investigated the claims. Burns told 1819 News he takes education very seriously. While the substitute suggested there were multiple genders, he believes the claims were taken out of context.

"We're not educating students on multiple genders, and there has been a misunderstanding," Burns said. "After much investigation, this is not what we're teaching in any of our schools. We're not promoting more than two genders."

A Facebook post led to concerned parents and family members coming forward.

"For a teacher to come out and start saying there's 48 genders, I mean, come on," Corey Fortner told 1819 News. "That's just a reach."

The Springville Middle School principal looked into the claims and found out why the substitute teacher made the statement. The superintendent said the statement was not made as part of instruction. He said the social media post contained misinformation, which could cause trust issues between the public and the school system.

Burns urges concerned parents to go directly to the school principal with issues going forward.

"As a whole, education is put in a bad light and there are a lot of things that are not factual," Burns said. "Misinformation on social media creates trust issues when the proper format to reach out when you're concerned is to go to school administration."

Burns said the number one priority for teachers and administration is education.

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