Teacher Who Focused on Reason Over Ideology Fired

AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

Warren Smith, who burst on the scene in February when a video of him discussing J.K. Rowling with students went viral, has been fired from his job. 

You probably recall the video. If not, Elon Musk amplified it, driving its message across the world. 


What made the video interesting was not that Smith defended Rowling--he actually didn't, at least not directly. Instead, he taught students how to examine their beliefs using the Socratic method. He forced them to articulate what they believed, discuss why they believed it, and consider whether the evidence actually supported those beliefs. 

Lesbian writer E.J. Rosetta, about whom I wrote last year, got herself canceled over the same issue and for similar reasons. After being assigned a story at Pride Magazine to expose Rowling as a transphobe, she was eager to do the story until her research showed that Rowling was not a transphobe. She said so, and she was fired. 

She is one of my heroes. She is one the increasing number of gender-critical gays who are helping lead the fight against the trans insanity.

Smith's fate mirrors hers. 


The school at which Smith taught waited to fire him, assuming that as his fame faded they could do so quietly. For months they kept Smith around, seemingly OK with his commitment to the Socratic method. 

Then, boom. They fired him for his social media posts. They didn't actually specify which posts in particular, and Smith asserts that he followed their policies to the letter. The school refused to elaborate. Rather, they seized his computer (on which he was writing a book) and showed him the door, without letting him recover any of his work. 

Is it possible that there is more to this story? Of course, there is, but until the school opens up about their motivations, we have only Smith's side of the story. And given how overwhelming the pressure is to maintain the alphabet narrative these days, it seems more likely than not that his firing is directly related to the fame he amassed. 

In the education world, being associated with Elon Musk or even the hint of gender-critical wrongthink is deadly, whether you are in private or public schools. Smith is also willing to defend free markets and is critical of big government. 



Smith was also willing to discuss the protests on college campuses. He wasn't, as far as I can tell, critical of the content as of the conduct--analyzing it and applying the same narrative vs. evidence framing. 

My guess and this is only a guess, is that Warren's ultimate crime was becoming a favorite of the right. He has been featured and positively profiled by conservative media figures. This is clearly not something encouraged in a school setting. 

Before we decide that there should be no ideological discussions in school, you have to recognize that this is a rule that doesn't apply to left-wing teachers in the least. They don't engage in Socratic discussions that lead students to more rational conclusions but rather outright propagandize students. You can find countless videos of teachers admitting that they push Queer ideology on students. 


Smith is only asking students to articulate why they believe as they do. Their inability to do so is a good starting place for education. As Socrates said, knowing that you know nothing is the beginning of wisdom. Beginning with reason rather than feelings is what educators should do. 

Smith is an aspiring filmmaker, and with his newfound fame he is likely to do well enough, especially if he focuses as he has on education. He has a ready-made audience. 

Still, it is sad that even a lone teacher focused on reasoned discussion,  in a sea of left ideologues, is too much for educators to bear. 

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