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Should a teacher be fired for opposing same-sex marriage?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:46 pm - August 19, 2011.
Filed under: Free Speech,Gay Marriage,Liberalism Run Amok

Ed Morrissey doesn’t think so:

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 . . . .

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 this were at a private school, then the school would entirely be within its rights to dismiss the man.  But, a public school should only be able to dismiss him if it holds all its teachers to a similar standard, suspending them from publicly speaking out on political issues.

Could Christian students be intimidated if they heard a teacher speak out against the public expression of their faith?

Oh, and one more thing, my favorite political science professor is college was a Marxist who regularly denounced Ronald Reagan and his policies, yet I wasn’t frightened or intimidated in his class, despite my open support of the Gipper.  That professor may have been wrong about politics (and economics), but he could still teach in an even-handed manner — and show respect for those with whom he disagreed.

Do hope the PC police in Lake County, Florida bear that mind as they weigh the case of Mr. Buell.

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55 Comments

  1. That bit of elemental biology is not much of a brainstorm, nor is it a compelling invitation to join in the nothingness of atheism.

    I’m starting to think they’re emos & goths who never grew up.

    As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a crazy bitch in the Lakeland area that’s part of the local atheist group. They’ve gone ballistic because Sheriff Judd removed the basketball goals from the jail and donated them to a/some church(es). I’d like for someone to explain to me how this is evidence of the US Congress establishing a national religion.

    Comment by TGC — August 21, 2011 @ 4:33 am - August 21, 2011

  2. This story reminds me of a college professor I had at Texas A&M back in the spring of 1983. He was a huge supporter of the Christian Children’s Fund, one of the liberal groups that aided poor children in destitute countries. My prof was a foster child that was adopted if my memory serves me correctly. Anyway, he was my technical writing prof, and he went on and on about this charity during class. I was offended because this had nothing to do with tech writing; he was just blathering about this group. Frankly, I didn’t think he was that great of a prof, not really teaching a heck of a lot. The students were by and large conservative I guess since it was Texas A&M; they didn’t raise a ruckus probably because they didn’t want their grades hurt (I was that way also). Right before graduation, when the grades had been put into the system, I went to the prof and expressed my disagreement with him. He raised his voice and said, “You don’t know the f*%k what you’re talking about.” I was po’ed and responded before walking out on him. I didn’t go to any higher ups because frankly I was ready to graduate. But libs like this guy just think they are righteous and perfect; they make my blood boil.

    Comment by davinci — August 21, 2011 @ 9:06 am - August 21, 2011

  3. My experience with a liberal prof was actually similar. (Thank the Divine I went to the branch, and not main campus) I got up and walked out of her class when she was going on at length about the kids in TICO (Franklin County’s maximum security juvenile facility) didn’t need incarseration. They needed hugs and love because they were misguided. Keep in mind this wasn’t for shoplifters. This was where they housed Murderers, arsonists, rapists, etc. I told her that you don’t hug a mad dog. You Put It Down. I then went and complained to the administration. That was the last class she taught at the branch.

    Also keep in mind this was a ‘Sociology and the Family’ class. The only group she never talked about was a stable atomic family. We had a lot of talk about same sex couples (back in the early 90’s mind you), dysfunctional families, incest survivors, and the ‘prison family’ above. But not a traditional family unit.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 22, 2011 @ 7:45 am - August 22, 2011

  4. […] * – should a teacher be fired for opposing same-sex marriage? […]

    Pingback by J.A.R.D. v.8.22.11 « Falcon’s Eyrie — August 22, 2011 @ 10:32 pm - August 22, 2011

  5. I doubt anyone is still reading this thread, but it the ACLU sided with the teacher against those who wanted him fired.
    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_education_edblog/?p=21254

    Comment by Rob Tisinai — August 24, 2011 @ 8:40 pm - August 24, 2011

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