Got this from Ben at EclecticsAnonymous.
Seems a teacher (Deb Mayer) was following school curriculum (using Time For Kids to cover current events), and answered a child’s question regarding a peace protest covered in the curriculum.
The teacher insists that she only discussed the right to dissent, the right to protest, and techniques for peaceful resolution of conflict.
Another kid complained to their parent, and the hysterical parent bullied the school into censoring the teacher, saying that she was no longer allowed to say the word “peace”. In the end, the teacher lost her job when she said the word peace again and the same child complained again.
This more complete article details how the school’s annual “Peace Month” celebration was cancelled shortly before it was to start. Peace Month involved a series of activities designed to teach children how to peacefully resolve conflicts. The story also mentions that complaints were filed that accuse the teacher of sexual harassment (quote follows):
Even though it was typed on an official sexual harassment document, the actual complaint against Mayer accused her of “harassing” children because she would put up her hand to silence a child if the child had interrupted a conversation between herself and another student.
“The parent had signed it, but nobody on the school administration has signed it,” she said. “When we tried to find out who did it, nobody admitted to it.”
The National School Board Association has issued a brief stating that there is no such thing as Academic Freedom or Freedom of Speech for K-12 teachers.
In her response to the brief, the teacher insists that she was teaching the curriculum (AKA doing her job).
Unless something is missing in the coverage of this story, the story seems outrageous to me. Time for Kids is a common classroom tool, and part of the approved Current Events Curriculum for many schools across the country. The teacher was leading a classroom discussion based off of commonly accepted materials, presumably required and approved by the School Board.
The right of Americans to protest and dissent is a FACT of American life, and American freedom…not the personal opinion of the teacher.
Unless the teacher was telling students that they were wrong if they agreed with the war, or if she was requiring them to protest as part of the class, or if she was telling them they should object to the war, she is well within bounds.
The irony? This teacher has a son serving in Afghanistan…fighting for our freedom.