High school teacher, Windy Pappas, was escorted off campus after she decided to kneel like a NFL football player while the national anthem was played during a school assembly.
But that’s not all…
Pappas also held up two signs; One having the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the other saying ‘It’s OK to disagree with every sign here!!!’. She pulled this antic during the school’s homecoming week rally.
The rally proceeded without incident, but administrators later came to her classroom and escorted her out to the school parking lot.
She was on paid leave after she was booted from the campus, but returned to work on Tuesday.
Pappas declined to comment Monday, citing a pending investigation.
Woodland Joint Unified School District spokeswoman Callie Lutz confirmed that the high school emailed and left a recorded message for students’ families on Sunday, but said the district would not comment on Pappas’ employment situation out of respect for her privacy. Lutz later clarified that Pappas had been placed on paid leave, not suspended.
The school district felt the need to release the following statement to the public, explaining the situation:
‘We are aware that there was an unauthorized display during a Woodland High School rally on Friday. As a District, we’re using this as a learning opportunity to ensure we are all aware of the free speech rights of students and employees in schools.’
Woodland High principal Karrie Sequeria elaborated on that message in an email sent out to parents.
‘While teachers do retain certain First Amendment rights in their capacity as an instructor, such rights are limited by Education Code and case law,’ she said.
‘Their personal, political or religious beliefs are not appropriately expressed at school or in the classroom.’
‘Instead, the appropriate and legal instructional role is one of neutral facilitator – one who facilitates student discussion and intelligent analysis of current events.’
Stephen J Chaudhary, who described himself as a 20-year Air Force veteran, commented on social media: ‘I can’t put into words, how much I am disgusted about the disrespect for our flag.’
‘I can’t and don’t comment on the subject on posts, because the amount of pain and hurt it causes me. More so, I want to inflict pain and suffering to others who disrespect this flag.’
Blair McAnelly was more sanguine: ‘All lives of course matter and we all should lead by example of that,’ she wrote.
‘I personally am not on a witch hunt for this teacher, I just feel the Homecoming rally was not the place to do it.’
The First Amendment entitles teachers to protected speech if it is not in a school-sponsored platform, ACLU of Northern California senior staff attorney Michael Risher said. Past California cases have found teachers were within their rights to wear political buttons at back-to-school nights or circulate petitions in a teacher’s lounge, since they were not actively instructing students.
Pappas has all the right, like football players, to dissent and protest. Just NOT on your employer’s time-clock. Not forcing your opine on children that are not your own.
These teachers think it is their right to push their political opinions on their students. It is the parent’s right to teach those values.
YES! It’s hard to believe, but this school actually believes in staying “neutral”. At least they are consistent on both sides of the political argument.
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