Board Of Education
Cross Keys High School teachers, Diane Clark and Susan Petre, resigned “in lieu of termination,” district officials said. Both teachers were removed from their classrooms on Nov. 10 pending investigations into claims they made statements about illegal immigrants, tying it in to Donald Trump’s presidential election.
DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Stephen Green issued a statement in February saying, “Our schools will be safe places for learning and teaching. We will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination … on or off District property … that interferes with learning or the rights of others.”
Since then, some news outlets have taken this quote and run with it …
SCHOOLTEACHERS FIRED FOR PRO-TRUMP REMARKS
Employees of a Georgia school district known for its diversity of refugees and migrants – legal and illegal – are being told not to express themselves on or off campus if their views on immigration line up with those of President Donald Trump. If their words are considered not “welcoming” of refugees and migrants, they will face investigation and possible termination.
GEORGIA TEACHERS FIRED FOR PRO-TRUMP COMMENTS
DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Stephen Green issued a warning to teachers in the suburban Georgia County to refrain from promoting President Trump’s policies on border security and legal immigration. Since the warning was issued two teachers were reportedly forced to resign.
Dyana Bagby with the Reporter Newspaper wrote a good piece on the school district’s investigation, CROSS KEYS TEACHERS LEAVE AFTER DSPUTED CLAIMS OF TRUMP-INSPIRED THREATS.
According to the investigation a parent called the DeKalb school’s superintendent’s office and said her son told her that Clark told students if they continued to misbehave in class “she would be making a call to the Department of Immigration.”
Clark said she is consulting a lawyer. In the DeKalb Schools report, she denied threatening anyone and said she actually spoke in support of students.
A teacher said on the day after the election one of Petre’s students told her that Petre told her class that their parents are to blame for the “problems and fears” students have about deportations and also that it was their parents fault for deportation fears because their parents brought children illegally to the U.S.
Petre said in the interview she told students that undocumented people break the law by moving to the U.S., but she also told her students she would always advocate for them. “What might have been misinterpreted was that I also stated we are a nation of laws and that undocumented people who came here broke the law,” Petre wrote in a statement to the principal.
Petre said that telling her students she was voting for Trump was a mistake. Petre also said she “never, ever threatened anyone with deportation. I said only criminals should be deported, period.”
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Dr. Stephen Green
CEO & Superintendent, DeKalb County School District
The article inaccurately represents the voluntary departure of three school district employees, two teachers and one nurse. These former employees had been investigated by our school system for comments suggesting DeKalb students with immigrant backgrounds faced deportation. Unfortunately, these comments were publicly available to students and families and negatively impacted the employees’ effectiveness in their schools.
These former employees received full due process of law and school board regulations after allegations came to light of their inappropriate comments and actions toward students.
Following fair and thorough school district investigations by the appropriate school principals, those principals and the regional superintendent of these employees unanimously recommended termination. All three employees provided written/oral comments and were afforded a full chance to rebut allegations and challenge any recommendations. All three voluntarily left the system without termination.
We are a public education system. We receive public tax funding. We are required by federal and state authority to educate every student who comes into our system. Students must only provide information such as proof of residency, immunization records, and proof of age … not green cards or immigration status.
We fully respect the free speech and all other constitutional rights of our employees, but actions by DeKalb staff members that interfere with their ability to effectively perform their jobs or interfere with our students’ rights to receive education are simply not acceptable.
We value all students, no matter their birth homes or heritages. We love them, and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America. Our diversity is our strength.
We strongly support the diversity of our school system, and we greatly value our role in supporting our immigrant population through the benefits of quality education. This is a core belief. We will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination … on or off district property … that interferes with employees’ ability to effectively perform their jobs or that interferes with learning and the rights of others.