A Long Island, New York foreign language teacher was "administratively reassigned" after she posted on her Facebook page, "This week is Spirit Week at Smithtown HS West. It's easy to spot which students are racist by the Trump gear they're sporting for USA Day." The teacher did not say it in her classes. No one says she spoke that way in school. But she was thinking it, and she made her thoughts public, and now the thought police are taking action against her. The silencing has begun in Trump world. It is not waiting for Election Day.
The school district, in a statement issued by the superintendent, indicated that the district had taken "appropriate disciplinary actions" against the teacher. According to news reports, the teacher was "administratively reassigned," which means she was removed from the classroom.
During his campaign, Donald Trump has stirred racial animosity and divided the nation. His statements against Mexicans, Muslims, and African Americans are racist. Like this teacher, I have witnessed disturbing behavior by Trump supporters, including high school students. When people are chanting "Build the Wall," "Lock her up," "Throw them out," or even "TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP," it is meant to intimidate others. It is a form of bullying that should be challenged in schools.
I think this teacher was wrong to equate support for Trump with being a racist. It's not true and not helpful. If the teacher said it in the classroom it would have silenced discussion, the very behavior she is upset about. BUT SHE DIDN'T SAY IT IN THE CLASSROOM and in this country she still has the right to think it and even to post it on Facebook without official retribution.
Many of the comments posted on Long Island News 12 were nasty and some of the people identified themselves as school or public employees. I don't think they should be, but I wonder if these people will also be held accountable for their free speech on the Internet.
Someone who described himself as the "Head of Technical Services at Elmont Memorial Library" posted "Well, what do you expect when the leader of this teacher's political party is saying the exact same things? My question is, why does this teacher get in trouble for saying this on Facebook, yet Hil-LIARY-y Clinton can get away with saying the exact same things to the entire country?"
Other commentators wrote:
"Freedom of speech is only free if you're a lib...if you're views differ then you're a racist, a misogynist, a sexist or whatever else it is that they claim you are! That woman should not be allowed to teach. Clearly she cannot be trusted to grade those students fairly. If any of them are in her class they should be taken out immediately!"
"We don't pay teachers to critique students or their parents political views. All across America we are trying to stop bullying by other kids and now it's being done by a teacher? Shame on her."
"She should be fired, she has no right to pass judgement (sic) on our children's views or the views of their parents. I don't care if it was about Clinton or Trump, her pushing her opinion on our children is disgusting. She should be ashamed!"
"Disgusting. . What other bullying and public shaming does she inflict on her students when no one is there to protect them? No parent should allow their child to remain in her class."
"These pigs are indoctrinating our children into their warped way of thinking from the first day we let them go to these communistic, unionized, cesspools, to the day they leave collage (sic). Then we wonder how our society has lost it's religion (sic), patriotism and brotherhood."
The silencing has begun in Trump world. It is not waiting for Election Day.
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