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Back to Nov. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 226 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS NOVEMBER 2004

Teacher Kicked Out for Displaying President's Photo . . .
President George W. Bush
Pres. George W. Bush
A New Jersey middle school teacher was ordered to leave her school in early October for refusing an order to remove a photo of President George W. Bush from her classroom display of photos of various U.S. presidents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. She was subsequently reassigned to a different school.

It all started at a parents' night when a mother complained about the picture. Some parents then e-mailed school officials claiming that the teacher had suppressed the free speech of her students — with some questioning why she liked George Bush even though "he's killed people."

The Monmouth Junction school principal and assistant principal decided that either the photo or the teacher had to go, accusing her of "partisanship," "hatred" and "inflammatory ways," the teacher, Shiba Pillai-Diaz, told WABC Radio. She pleads guilty to admiring President Bush but denies discussing politics in the classroom. "I never once said 'I am a Republican' or 'I support the president,'" she maintained. (Home News Tribune, 10-3-04)

Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) said school officials had gone overboard. "I don't see why [a picture] of the President of the United States can't be displayed," he told WABC Radio, pledging to assist the teacher if she contacts his office. (10-3-04)

Pillai-Diaz said she plans to post the picture of the president in her new classroom. (Associated Press, 10-8-04)

. . . While Another Shows 'Fahrenheit 9/11' with Principal's Okay

Michael Moore
Michael Moore
A Texas teacher showed the anti-President Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" in an English class at an alternative public high school. The father of one of the students objected to showing the R-rated, highly partisan Michael Moore film to 17-year-olds.

"It is spun to a very liberal viewpoint," Beaumont businessman and veteran Michael Kurth told the Associated Press. "It's absolutely wrong for teachers to take a political position with some of these kids at legal voting age." (10-9-04)

The school principal had previewed the film and told the Beaumont Enterprise he "didn't hear anything that was offensive." (10-9-04) However, in the interest of equal time, he announced that the film "Stolen Honor" would be shown to the students. That film is critical of President Bush's opponent, Senator John Kerry. (al.com, 8-16-04)

Other incidents of leftist propaganda in schools have led David Horowitz to advocate that his Academic Bill of Rights (designed for colleges) be "extended to high schools as soon as possible." He cites the following:

  • a three-page virulently anti-Bush handout distributed to a high school class in Bayside, NY by an English teacher

  • students at a Corpus Christi, TX high school who were going to be forced to attend an Al Sharpton campaign speech before parents caused an uproar

  • an Amherst, MA school board's approval of a production of The Vagina Monologues (a vile feminist screed featuring a lesbian relationship between an adult and an underage girl) after the board vetoed West Side Story and Peter Pan because they allegedly stereotype Puerto Ricans and American Indians. (FrontPageMagazine.com, 1-29-04)

A high school American studies teacher's distribution of an anti-Bush satire from a web site prompted a Michigan father to complain about classroom bias in early October. (Detroit News, 10-7-04)

Pro-Democrat campaign literature was mistakenly sent home with 3rd-graders in Hawthorne Elementary School in Montana in October. Officials apologized and said the information was intended for teachers, not students. (ktvq.com, 10-18-04)


 
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