Florida teacher suspended for Facebook entry opposing NY gay-marriage law

posted at 1:25 pm on August 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Do teachers in public-school systems have a “special ethics” code that prevents them from publicly speaking on policy issues?  Lake County Schools in Florida suspended Jerry Buell, a high-school teacher with a reportedly impeccable record for 22 years, for posting his opposition to New York’s new gay-marriage law, and will start termination proceedings against him.  The case will test First Amendment rights and encroaching political correctness:

Jerry Buell, a veteran American history teacher at Mount Dora High School, was removed from his teaching duties as school officials in Lake County investigate allegations that what he posted was biased towards homosexuals.

“We took the allegations seriously,” said Chris Patton, a communication officer with Lake County Schools. “All teachers are bound by a code of special ethics (and) this is a code ethics violation investigation.”

Patton said the school system received a complaint on Tuesday about something Buell had written last July when New York legalized same sex unions. On Wednesday, he was temporarily suspended from the classroom and reassigned.

So what did Buell write?

The first was posted on July 25 at 5:43 p.m. as he was eating dinner and watching the evening news.

“I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up,” he wrote. “And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement. If they want to call it a union, go ahead. But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool of whatever. God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable?”

Three minutes later, Buell posted another comment:

“By the way, if one doesn’t like the most recently posted opinion based on biblical principles and God’s laws, then go ahead and unfriend me. I’ll miss you like I miss my kidney stone from 1994. And I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”

The school district suspended Buell, who had been the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2010-11, because they are concerned that gay students might be “frightened or intimidated” in his class.  That’s a pretty thin rationale for punishing someone over what appears to be more or less mainstream opposition to the gay-marriage law.  Even saying the above in a classroom would be a thin rationale for disciplinary action, unless school districts will be taking action against all teachers who talk politics in the classroom, and a Facebook posting is not a classroom speech.

If school districts are worried about hate speech outside the classroom, wouldn’t we be demanding that these Wisconsin teachers get fired?

Wonder how many of these were talking about the Wisconsin PEU reform in their classrooms?  A few of them brought their students out to protest, as I recall.  Should they be suspended and fired, too?  Isn’t this “intimidating and frightening” to conservative-minded students in Wisconsin?

Teachers are American citizens with same rights as every other American citizen.  They get to have opinions and express them publicly.  The school can and should control classroom conduct, and should butt out of other speech entirely.  And here’s a lesson about free speech and the Constitution that Lake County Schools apparently hasn’t grasped: there is no freedom from offense built into the First Amendment.  We don’t curtail speech on the off chance it might hurt someone’s feelings.  If we did, we wouldn’t have any free political speech at all.  And I would make the same argument in support of a teacher suspended from a public school for offering Facebook support for New York’s gay-marriage bill.

Update: Some clumsy wording in the opening paragraph made it seem like Buell was 22 years old.  He’s been a teacher for 22 years.  I’ve rewritten that passage.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

This is why I don’t “Facebook”.

cktheman on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

District Contact Information

Office Hours:
Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Lake County Schools
201 West Burleigh Blvd
Tavares, Fl 32778
Main Phone: 352-253-6500

If you have questions about the new district web portal and functionality, please email the Webmaster at webmaster@lake.k12.fl.us.

Comments, feedback or questions for the district as a whole, please email the Web Content Specialist at feedback@lake.k12.fl.us.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 19, 2011 at 1:29 PM

So much for teaching free speech.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The school will lose this battle. Hope he collects some money, too.

Blake on August 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Hope he collects some money, too.

Blake on August 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM

From the taxpayers?

SirGawain on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

This is why I am against public schooling

bbz123 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Fools who use Facebook will be burned, if not now, then later, just like cement hardens. Have at it.

The teacher should take this up to the SC, still.

Schadenfreude on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

The progressive homosexual activists will not accept the least resistance to it’s agenda.

Rebar on August 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

That’s a pretty thin rationale for punishing someone over what appears to be more or less mainstream opposition to the gay-marriage law.

Not in today’s liberalized, PC public school enviroment.

vcferlita on August 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

It’s a bullcrap firing, no doubt, but what is it about social networking that people feel necessary to post all their thoughts all the time?

“I had a cheese burrito for lunch. YUMMY!”

“Took the boys to hockey practice and they looked pretty good out there.”

“Just got done mowing the lawn. Got pretty hot but I had sunscreen on so it was ok.”

Do people really care about this stuff, I mean really?

Bishop on August 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

ACLU surprisingly silent
/snark

Nathan_OH on August 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

It is a sad state of affairs when an American Citizen can not give an opion on how they feel about something without the threat of being fired! How things have changed in my country and not for the best.
L

letget on August 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

lorien: Not in the public sector, there cannot be. Sure, if it was a private school, they’d have every right to fire him. About as much right as they have firing a homosexual teacher for being homosexual.

However, since Mt. Dora is a public school, which receives state funding (and because of that, federal funding), I fail to see how his exercise of First Amendment rights is punishable by the public sector.

You can argue that it’s not a First Amendment issue at all, but if you say it’s a First Amendment issue, he’s protected.

Scott H on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

My son has a teacher with a “Jesus was a Liberal” sticker on his desk. I have not said anything to the school. After seeing this I just might.

Howcome on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This is why I don’t “Facebook”.

cktheman on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Exactly. Everyone tells me that I need to get into the 21st century, but I’ve done fine without Facebook for a few decades now.

TxAnn56 on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

So, if a teacher posts on Facebook: “I think children out off wedlock with no fathers in their lives is a scourge and seriously harming kids” — he’ll be $hitecan, too? Won’t those kids potentially feel uncomfortable? When does this nonsense end?

Blake on August 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

And Mt. Dora is such a quiet little town. Its near Howey-In-The-Hills, FL.

vcferlita on August 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Can’t wait till the ACLU comes to defend him /s

sandee on August 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Jerry Buell is welcome to look for a teaching post in Texas. A listing here.

publiuspen on August 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Next well be firing teachers because little johnny’s self esteem was crushed by the F he got for not doing his homework.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

A 22-year-old is “a veteran American history teacher”?

KS Rex on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

and they would probably be praising him if he wrote in the positive, no?

pathetic and shameful on the skrool districts’s part

cmsinaz on August 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Here’s what the school should have done: call the guy into the office and ask him if he would modify the post. Whatever happened to talking things out? It could have prevented the immolation at Waco. Instead all sides od our modern society — Libs, conserves, and everybody else — seem to prefer the nuclear approach. Sad.

MaxMBJ on August 19, 2011 at 1:42 PM

letget on August 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

amen sister

cmsinaz on August 19, 2011 at 1:42 PM

A 22-year-old is “a veteran American history teacher”?
KS Rex on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Read it again, he’s a 22 year old American veteran who has a history of teaching.

Bishop on August 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Since the libs have liked to argue that schools are extensions of the federal government, that’s not really the case. And throwing that blanket over it doesn’t differentiate “I’d really like to kill all the kids in my class, but I haven’t worked up the courage” from “I don’t like gay marriage laws”.

Axeman on August 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Bishop on August 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I’ve said the same thing to myself. I don’t give a crap what you ate for breakfast, lunch or dinner, thank you! I especially dislike it when people air their dirty laundry on-line. Well…actually, sometimes I like it.

NYconservative on August 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM

A 22-year-old is “a veteran American history teacher”?

KS Rex on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Jerry Buell, a 22-year high-school teacher

VibrioCocci on August 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The school district suspended Buell, who had been the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2010-11, because they are concerned that gay students might be “frightened or intimidated” in his class.

“I’m watching the news, eating dinner when the story about New York okaying same-sex unions came on and I almost threw up,” he wrote.

Did they think that the gay students would be scared he would vomit on them? That is the closest thing there was to a “threat” in his post.

MississippiMom on August 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The California Teachers Union donated $1 million to pass Prop 8 to allow same sex marriage. I have friends who are teachers that are forced to be part of the Teachers Union, some were for and some against, but all of their union dues went towards supporting same sex marriage.

I spoke to an Obamabot teacher friend (who would eventually defriend me for sending her a Hotair link) who complained about their teachers’ salaries but when I asked her if this was a good use of their union dues she agreed.

redeye on August 19, 2011 at 1:48 PM

We don’t curtail speech on the off chance it might hurt someone’s feelings. If we did, we wouldn’t have any free political speech at all.

And we wouldn’t have Rick Perry.

SlaveDog on August 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Maybe he can get the NLRB to sue.

VibrioCocci on August 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Did they think that the gay students would be scared he would vomit on them? That is the closest thing there was to a “threat” in his post.

MississippiMom on August 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

The homosexual kids prolly wouldn’t gave even noticed if the district hadn’t made such a big flippin’ deal over it.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 19, 2011 at 1:49 PM

This is part of the endgame. Coming to a town near you. Shutup wingnuts.

faraway on August 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

This is why I don’t “Facebook”.

cktheman on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Exactly. Everyone tells me that I need to get into the 21st century, but I’ve done fine without Facebook for a few decades now.

TxAnn56 on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

This is the reason you don’t use facebook? Because someone might illegally fire you for personal viewpoints on politics expressed outside of work?
And we want backbones in our leaders.

theguardianii on August 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I’m not sure the courts would see it the same way, at least in this case. They’d have to prove that the speech inflicted some sort of emotional pain on someone, or something like that. Free speech is our most protected right, as we found out with the Westboro Baptist Church case. That being said, I don’t think the guy used his best judgment. Although I may have strong opinions on certain issues, I try not to give anyone a reason to “go there.”

The only way the ACLU would’ve gotten involved is if this teacher had directed his comments towards a Catholic priest or a GOP presidential candidate.

RMCS_USN on August 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

This has nothing to do with free speech rights. This has everything to do with the school unions trying to enforce a socialist PC view.

Skywise on August 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

My son has a teacher with a “Jesus was a Liberal” sticker on his desk. I have not said anything to the school. After seeing this I just might.

Howcome on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Probably should. I don’t think the idiot should be fired, but get rid of the stupid sticker. He manages to push religious and political buttons is 4 words – on the school’s work desk. What’s he thinking? Yeah, I know, he’s a leftist, no thinking needed.

Makes me wonder about the content of the lessons.

forest on August 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

He should have taught in WA…..

When asked about the decision to allow Wight to return to work, WSDOT said, “There is no provision in state law or the collective bargaining agreement that allows WSDOT to terminate a represented employee’s employment based merely on the existence of a criminal conviction not directly related to the scope of his or her employment.”

Wight has a prior conviction for third-degree assault. In that case, Wight was originally charged with commercial sex abuse of a minor and admitted to investigators he’d contacted a pimp to have sexual contact with the young victim, whom he described as “mentally slow,” according to prosecutors.

rw on August 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

theguardian: If this was the private sector, the teacher would not have a leg to stand on.

It is well known in jobhunting circles that a Facebook or other social networking post (or, worse, image) can easily kill your chances of getting a job.

Scott H on August 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Great lesson for the kids eh? Remember children, as long as you speak out on issues parroting OUR view, it’s fine.

This is the American education we’ve allowed the government to take over people. Do you still wonder why things are so very very fricked up?

Little Billy can’t add 2+2 but he can tell you how he “feels” happy about Sammy having two moms.

Either defund the Department Of Education or change the name to be more accurate The Department Of Indoctrination.

Tim Zank on August 19, 2011 at 1:55 PM

My son has a teacher with a “Jesus was a Liberal” sticker on his desk. I have not said anything to the school. After seeing this I just might.

Howcome on August 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Why not say something to the teacher first? Then, if he does not remove it, go up the chain. I’m pretty sure a teacher could not have a “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” sticker displayed so prominently. Maybe we should just be happy the word “Jesus” can be displayed at all!!

I would not like my kids taught by someone who is making such an obvious political statement from his position of authority as teacher.

MississippiMom on August 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM

This is why I don’t support gay marriage. This is really what gay marriage is about. Punishing those that disagree. If gay marriage was about two people living privately, happily ever after, I would be fine with it.

But it is about criminalizing and punishing those that disagree, more specifically, punishing Christians.

ramrants on August 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

If you are a teacher, in ministry or any professional position you really have to consider what you are posting on FB. I tend to post articles on Islam and had complaints about me as a minister and “hating” Muslims. I haven’t stopped, but I am more careful about letting emotions engage. Drinking and FB is as bad as getting behind the wheel.

I’m sure if this same teacher had posted that he has a man crush on Prince and described what he would like to do with him in the shower, he would have received another award.

Hening on August 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

“All teachers are bound by a code of special ethics (and) this is a code ethics violation investigation.”

Bet anything the “code of special ethics” is unwritten.

That dumb ass school board had better get the checkbook out. Looks like Buell just hit the lottery.

GarandFan on August 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Liberalism is a mental disease, part 1,872,411

angryed on August 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

How did sodomy not just get elevated to a civil right, but is now a sacred act, like bowing to Mecca?

Paul-Cincy on August 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

If he said this in the classroom, they should have fired his @ss.

If he said it on his personal, private Facebook, then no employment action is warranted.

That said, these days, nothing exists in a vacuum, so while I think disciplinary action is not justified in this case, I’m not feeling a tremendous amount of sympathy here. He should have known that something like this would get around. There are certain things I don’t say on my social media, out of acknowledgement that it could cause me problems given the nature of my work.

Vyce on August 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Really? It’s not a free speech issue? Can’t wait to read your explanation for that one!

In the meantime, congratulations!

You just won the award for posting the most nonsensical comment on the thread.

Trochilus on August 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Not when it comes to being punished by a taxpayer-funded agency for holding a non-criminal belief.

We’re not talking about a private employer.

We’re talking about a public school punishing a teacher for holding the same position as the President of the United States and Speaker of the House.

amerpundit on August 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Next well be firing teachers because little johnny’s self esteem was crushed by the F he got for not doing his homework.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I’ve been pressured to change a student’s grade bcs their an athlete & another’s bcs they wanted them to graduate.
I refused both times.
One school district I know of got rid of grades.
Parents went ape $hit.
So grades came back.
I have FB. But I do not publicly post my feelings about much of anything.
However, I am fully aware that what I say in private convos on FB could be public fare.
Everything I pretty much say, I say with the idea it will be public.
I stand up for my opinion & I have been ‘non-renewed’ after my 1st year of teaching bcs I stood up for something.
I do not need my job so bad that I will put up with $hit from these PC jerkwads.

Badger40 on August 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

their = they’re
:P

Badger40 on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

This is fair warning to all those naive enough to think the homosexual lobby will stop at just achieving gay marriage legalization. That is just one of their policy agenda items. They want legalization as a first step in legitimizing their lifestyle and promoting universal acceptance of it as a perfectly moral lifestyle. They will not stop with gay marriage. They have already, and will continue, to make it illegal to voice an opinion that homosexuality is morally wrong (hate speech), and they will find other ways like this to punish anyone brave enough to speak up.

Their goals are far beyond tolerance. They demand full-blown acceptance and even celebration. And there are activists, like Obama’s “safe schools czar”, that are pushing the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.

It used to be homosexuals had to keep quiet about their private lives or they might risk losing a teaching position, because parents didn’t want someone with questionable morals teaching their kids. Now you make a off-duty online comment, and you can get fired for opposing gay marriage. That’s quite a change. The pendulum has swung WAY too far.

willamettevalley on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Not sure how I feel about this.

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

The teacher needs to be reinstated and the ones involved in the firing need to be fired and sued.

This has little to do with gay marriage and everything to do with government power enforcing the liberal agenda.

GardenGnome on August 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

If this were a private employer I would agree. but, b/c it is a public employer, it is the gov’t punishing an individual for his speech. there are circumstances where a gov’t entity, as employer, can punish an employee for his/her speech, but it has to be job related and not be speech about a public issue.

Here, unless it can be shown that the individual was facebooking from work during working hours, I doubt they can tie this into the job at all. And clearly, voicing an opinion on public law/policy is exactly the type of speech the 1st amendment was meant to protect.

What kills me is the way to know that this is merely punishment for saying something the district officials don’t agree with – if other teachers posted something positive about the NY law (and I bet they can find some), the District would not discipline those teachers.

This is a true demonstration of how liberals think – they find it perfectly acceptable to censore speech they don’t agree with (and trust me, having dealt w/ many school districts, 95% of all district administrators are hard-core liberals).

Monkeytoe on August 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

It should be repeated over and over again, liberals are the fascists they’re constantly accusing others of being.

clearbluesky on August 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

And btw, shouldn’t any teachers who publicly support gay marriage also be fired, or are gays the only people who get to be protected from being offended or having their feelings hurt?

clearbluesky on August 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM

If a teacher makes disparaging remarks about smokers, would the school fire him because of how the smokers in his class might feel about it?

Count to 10 on August 19, 2011 at 2:24 PM

It should be repeated over and over again, liberals are the fascists they’re constantly accusing others of being.

clearbluesky on August 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

I call this: “The Big Truth.”

logis on August 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Not sure how I feel about this.

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I think that demonstrates that you’re thinking about it as a block. Did he say anything about kids in his school? If that’s your borderline case think about how close it is to that case. If a law covers both cases does it fit either one?

People who expect the law to create inviolable and perfect definitions really aren’t thinking at much of a depth. It would be easier to accept a “decorum” argument if the libs weren’t such shriekers when when everything is perfect for them.

I don’t see why a case of what this is not is what could “sway” you.

Axeman on August 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I hope he shellacks them in court.

I get around all that classroom stuff by sleeping with the teacher. She can pretty much say anything she wants to my kids. Been working it that way for 20 years. And that’s one of the benefits of homeschooling.

av8tr on August 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

“All teachers are bound by a code of special ethics (and) this is a code ethics violation investigation.”

Not only are teachers bound by ethics but these ethics are special ethics. That’s right, teachers are like firemen and policemen. They are self-sacrificing, righteous people who are so special that they have to have better ethics than your ordinary schmuck.

Vince on August 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

“Outlowed”

They should have been fired in Wisconsin.

antisocial on August 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM

And btw, shouldn’t any teachers who publicly support gay marriage also be fired, or are gays the only people who get to be protected from being offended or having their feelings hurt?

clearbluesky on August 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM

That’s why they are called “special” ethics.

pedestrian on August 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Not sure how I feel about this.

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I doubt there are any of his students that are gay and married. I’m betting that the complaint was lodged by a gay teacher Which brings up the thought that some may prefer that their kids not be taught by a gay teacher.

Vince on August 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

willamettevalley on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Spot on.

This has nothing to do with free speech rights. This has everything to do with the school unions trying to enforce a socialist PC view.

Skywise on August 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

For almost all of us, you are correct. But in order for this guy to get his job back, he can’t use the latter as a defense argument in court.

And how come bad things continue to happen in Florida?

RMCS_USN on August 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

For a private employer, I would agree. But the government imposes a near monopoly on teaching jobs, and so they should be subject to what it says in every state constitution.

pedestrian on August 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

http://youtu.be/lWHgUE9AD4s

Just more shutuppery. Agree with them or shut up.
They are completely open to everyone who agrees with them and free speech for all but those are different from them.

Grunt on August 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

ACLU surprisingly silent /snark Nathan_OH on August 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

“…if American champions of civil liberty could all think in terms of economic freedom as the goal of their labors, they too would accept ‘workers’ democracy’ as far superior to what the capitalist world offers to any but a small minority. Yes, and they would accept — regretfully, of course — the necessity of dictatorship while the job of reorganizing society on a socialist basis is being done.” -Roger Baldwin, Founding Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom in the USA and the USSR, 1934.

“I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the State itself as an instrument of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.” -Roger Baldwin, from his entry in his thirtieth anniversary Harvard University classbook, 1935.

Akzed on August 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!” Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Asian is not a behavior.

Akzed on August 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Asian is not a behavior.

Akzed on August 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Any guy who is married to an Asian wife or any student who has an Asian mother disagrees.

pedestrian on August 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

pedestrian on August 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I’m sure that’s meant in the most positive way imaginable…

Akzed on August 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

This is why I don’t “Facebook”.

cktheman on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Hot Air has 15,001 facebook fans.

Connie on August 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Buell, who had been the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2010-11,

Public schools’ #1 problem is attracting & keeping good teachers.
Unions oppose merit pay, which would do that.
They also oppose conservative philosophy, which tends to produce good human beings who become good teachers.

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

This is why I don’t “Facebook”.

cktheman on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

I do. And I speak out about politics, including school-related politics. And I drive a school bus for my city’s public schools.
Some things are more important than job security.

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 2:59 PM

And if he didn’t like cats, cat owner students would be terrified of him, and if he didn’t like broccoli, a farming student would be terrified of him, if he didn’t like the show “Glee”, the glee club would be terrified of him…sit down, shut up, don’t have opinion, except the opinion we allow you to have…

right2bright on August 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Some clumsy wording in the opening paragraph made it seem like Buell was 22 years old. He’s been a teacher for 22 years.

we know, Ed. It’s hard to eat your waffle and pronounce it too…..

ted c on August 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

facebook is for teenagers and perverts.

ted c on August 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Sorry pal, but Asian’s and gay’s are two different “cultures”.

right2bright on August 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Meanwhile…

In 1997 a Brooklyn teacher was accused of attempting to molest a sixth-grade girl at PS 138. As it happened, he admitted the behavior, but no criminal charges were filed when all was said and done. Still one would think the fact that he inappropriately fondled a teen should be enough to get him fired from his teaching position. But then again, in New York you can’t even fire a child molester if he happens to be a teachers union member.

Thanks to the fact that it is nearly impossible to fire a teacher, this lowlife has been drawing his almost $100,000-a-year salary to do nothing.

and…

While finding that O’Neill got rough with her students — including hitting them on the head with water bottles, kicking a student and pulling the skin off the lip of another — arbitrator Mark Lurie said because the district knew about O’Neill’s behavior but never disciplined her for her misconduct or even gave her a verbal warning, she could not be fired. The decision cannot be appealed.

But if you think it’s bad here… from the leftist’s paradise

Being found guilty of paying for group sex with a minor is not sufficient grounds for education officials in Stockholm to fire a teacher who has refused to quit following his conviction.

Gwillie on August 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

“Florida teacher suspended for Facebook entry demonizing Conservative Christians.”

Why do I think that would never be an issue with this school board?

locomotivebreath1901 on August 19, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

hahahahahhahaha
Please let me explain to you what everyone else understands:
The teacher expressed opposition to a certain behavior & to a distortion of an institution.
Your illustration expresses hatred for people of a certain race.
Your next bogus complaint is…?

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

facebook is for teenagers and perverts.

ted c on August 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

600,000,000 teenagers and perverts, huh?

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Imagine “oh jeez there are so many Asians in my school. I’m sick of seeing them!”
Well you are suspended free speech or not for that. I actually could be swayed here I bet.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Well, let’s do this.

Since the grounds here are that a child could be “frightened or intimidated” by what was posted, I vote that we go scan every single public school teacher’s Facebook page that we can find and pick anything that could “frighten or intimidate” a child, then send the complaint to the school administration.

northdallasthirty on August 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

if he didn’t like the show “Glee”, the glee club would be terrified of him…

right2bright on August 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

He probably doesn’t like Glee, since it is largely homosexual propaganda.

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Anyone who is upset and/or surprised by this hasn’t been paying attention to all of the so-called “anti-bullying” legislation that’s been passed in states all over the country.

Anti-bullying – sounds good – right?

Read the fine print folks.

Basically anyone who FEELS threatened or “unsafe” has a case and school districts are compelled to take action or deal with some very serious consequences.

And because a lot of “bullying” was happening on Facebook etc., the legislation explicitly states that the perceived threatening behavior can come from ANYWHERE – online, your home, the public park, a mall etc.

Wake up folks!

scarchin on August 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

And I would make the same argument in support of a teacher suspended from a public school for offering Facebook support for New York’s gay-marriage bill.

That would never happen. Let’s not be stupid here. It’s not OK anymore to be against homosexuality for any reason. This is our new reality, and it’s not because gay marriage was legalized. It’s just because homosexuality isn’t a taboo anymore for those who are deciding our culture.

Esthier on August 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

It’s just because homosexuality isn’t a taboo anymore for those who are deciding our culture.

Esthier on August 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Who are “those”?
If it’s up to culture to decide, what if culture is divided 50-50?
If it’s up to culture to decide, what if culture says these things are OK:
Widow-burning, as in India (until missionaries taught them not to)?
Human sacrifice, as in some American Indian nations?
Sexual abuse of boys, as in Afghanistan?

itsnotaboutme on August 19, 2011 at 4:13 PM

It’s not really a free speech issue. There can be consequences to you using your right of free speech.

lorien1973 on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

My employer conducts an exercise every year that we call “Red Card, Blue Card”. Basically, the point is to reinforce the fact that (a.) the employer has control over how its employees use company provided systems (email, telephone, etc.), and/or how they conduct themselves on company time or property.

The exercise also recognizes (b.) the fact that the employer has NO control over how its employees use their own communications systems, or how they exercise their right of free speech in doing so on their own time and away from work.

When the lawyers get done, this teacher’s employer will recognize that (b.) applies to them as well.

tgharris on August 19, 2011 at 4:19 PM

“code of special ethics” = Double Secret Probation?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0cF2piwjYQ

VikingGoneWild on August 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I don’t care which side of the issue he comes down on, the very idea that a person cannot express their political views because they work for government is disgustingly offensive. It is one thing for military personnel who cede that right when they agree to be bound by the UCMJ. But aside from that and perhaps a few other exceptions, a person absolutely has the right to speak, campaign and otherwise express themselves on their own time!

MJBrutus on August 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

You guys aren’t paying attention.

Let’s try this again.

Here’s the relevant part of the law (and you probably have a similar or identical law in YOUR state):

“Harassment” means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:
1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

Bottom line – If a student insists that what Mr. Teacher wrote on his PERSONAL Facebook page is upsetting him/her to the point where it is affecting his/her “educational performance” then they have a case – unless you are dealing with a school district with exceptionally strong backbone (hint: not likely).

Very similar to sexual harassment laws – if you FEEL harassed, you ARE harassed. The big difference here is that schools are now legally obligated to deal with behavior that happens EVERYWHERE – not just on school property.

BTW – If your head is exploding, I understand.

Finally – want to get some dirty looks? Start questioning this legislation and whether it’s appropriate or necessary. Have fun!

scarchin on August 19, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Comment pages: 1 2