Should a teacher be able to be suspended for comments he makes on his own time outside of school?
Full story and his comments hereA former “Teacher of the Year” in Mount Dora, Fla. has been suspended and could lose his job after he voiced his objection to gay marriage on his personal Facebook page.
Jerry Buell, a veteran American history teacher at Mount Dora High School, was removed from his teaching duties this week 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.
Patton said Buell has taught in the school system for 22 years and has a spotless record. Last year, he was selected as the high school’s “Teacher of the Year.”
But now his job is on the line because of what some have called anti-gay and homophobic comments.
Buell told Fox News Radio that he was stunned by the accusations. “It was my own personal comment on my own personal time on my own personal computer in my own personal house, exercising what I believed as a social studies teacher to be my First Amendment rights,” he said.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/19...#ixzz1VV8FumR1
Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013
I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson
Yes, if they are homophobic or racist, they should be removed from their teaching position.
Would you want someone who claimed to disapprove of an entire race teaching HS students?
Don't worry though, I'm sure his union will fight hard for him. I know you love unions.
DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12
I dont believe that he should be fired unless they can prove that his personal life or beliefs were interfering with his teaching. I am sure there are a lot of beliefs held by teachers that we could disagree with, but if they dont bring it in the classroom then we cant worry about it
What I want to know is why did he post something on Facebook, did he really think no one would see it?
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
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. I will never accept it because God will never accept it. Romans chapter one.”
After reading the comments this teacher made I feel pretty icky inside wondering how a teen student in his class might feel. These comments are not okay with me for someone in such position over impressionable and sometimes confused minds. Yeah, no. Not okay on this one.
Oh...and he had over 700 friends on Facebook. Wow!
Last edited by OnePlusTwo; 08-19-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Editing for clarity...I hope :)
DH married 6/24/06
DS born 4/29/08
Twin DD's born 5/10/10 at 35 weeks
I think that he had the right to post about his opinion on gay marriage without ramifications. Heck, half or more of the country shares his view.
His comments, however, were clearly homophobic. That is different. I would not want an overt and hateful homophobe teaching my children.
Wasn't very cohenrant, I'll try again when less tired.
People always misunderstand the First Amendment to be something along the lines of "I can say whatever bullcrap I want with no repercussions whatsoever." Wrong. The First Amendment means that Dude won't be, like, jailed for voicing his opinions. It doesn't mean that there are no social repercussions (like, we're all "not allowed" to think he's a jerk) or no occupational repercussions. The truth is that, depending on your job, what you put out in the public sphere DOES matter. I echo the people that have said that if he were putting overtly racist messages up on FB, that would matter. The truth is that teachers *do* have to be careful about what they put out there - and I say this as the wife of a public school teacher. Trust me, I love to take the Teacher's Side when I can.
There is a reason that my own DH doesn't and won't have a FB account - not that he would be posting homophobic messages, but he still doesn't want to even run the risk of putting anything out there that could potentially lesson his credibility to his students, their parents, or his school.
At the end of the day, I wouldn't want someone that is this vocally homophobic teaching my kids either.
I don't find what he said (from what OnePlusTwo posted) to be incredibly hateful and fire-worthy. It sounds as if he is forming his opinion on homosexuality based on his religious beliefs and I think many others do the same thing. I think he is entitled to that opinion and has the right to post it on FB. Now, if he'd said, "I'd love to bash me a few fags...." or something along those lines I'd think differently.