1957. Ms. No - 2/22/2018 10:22:35 PM
So, my kids have been talking a lot about guns. We've been reading articles and they've been coming up with ideas to curb gun violence. Three of our students made it onto the evening news in a panel for local News 10.
News 10 is coming back this evening to speak to teachers --- not just from our school, we're hosting, but only one of us (guess who) is slated to be on the panel.
Our principal reached out to let the district's communications officer know that this was going on --- just a heads up out of politeness, and she was informed that we ARE NOT ALLOWED to speak because they didn't approve it prior to it being scheduled.
So I emailed my principal back and asked her if I could - politely - point out to the communications director that they didn't have the authority to restrict my speech. She said "I think that's a valid argument. I just forwarded your email to my boss who has a meeting with the communications director in 15 minutes."
I love my boss!
If the District thinks they're avoiding stink that might arise from one of their teachers -- who had no intention of identifying the district or even my school -- speaking out about school shootings and gun violence, they've clearly not considered the far larger implications of attempting to deprive a private citizen of her first amendment right to free speech.
You want inflammatory statements? Try this on for size "School District Violates Teachers' 1st Amendment Rights"
1958. arkymalarky - 2/23/2018 3:02:12 AM
You go! Keep us posted!
1959. Ms. No - 2/24/2018 12:36:09 AM
So we got yet another refusal back from the district -- they can refuse my participation because I was contacted by the news station exclusively because I'm a district teacher.
Except that wasn't exactly the case.
At any rate, I called the union and our president asked me if it was the same panel that she'd been contacted about sending a CTA member to, and I told her it was, so she invited me to speak as a CTA member.
If the District even notices -- which I highly doubt --- they can't do anything at this point because it could be argued that they were retaliating against me for participating in Union business.
So I went to the panel and spoke and had an excellent experience. It was a pretty diverse panel as far as political views, but we had far more in common than not, and we were all coming from almost exactly the same place regarding the importance of building relationships with our students and how much harder this becomes every year because of the piling on of curriculum and extra duty instruction.
It airs tonight at 11 PST.
They did not use my name, my district name, or the name of my school, so I'm happy as a clam with the way things went. Turns out only two of the other teachers felt comfortable giving their names 00 and then only first names, so I didn't look like the weirdo conspiracy theorist. :-)
1960. Ms. No - 2/24/2018 2:46:56 AM
And we'll never know whether the District would have just not noticed because my stupid union president went and tried to beat her chest over the whole incident and NOW they may have to make an example of me.
I am pro-union, but I am NOT a fan of my union president and now she may have actively harmed my job just so she could pick a fight with the District.
Well, we'll see what happens on Monday. I just got word from my principal that she heard it from her boss who was notifying the communications director and the head of the Academic Office.
The Academic Office which wasn't involved in any of this to begin with and whose involvement now makes me sweat.
I can only hope that my long history of excellent relations with the head of the Academic Office will help to mitigate these circumstances.
1961. arkymalarky - 2/24/2018 5:06:44 PM
Well shit. I think you will prevail, but it may be an unpleasant process that may take a while. I don't see how your communications director has a leg to stand on to tell you can't do something like that, but if you make him / her look bad because it does look bad, the communications director I wish they'd kept quiet, it may be more painful than they wished it would have been. At some point you stand up for right and the people who try to prevent you for doing that will hopefully be exposed for the weasels they are.
1962. arkymalarky - 2/24/2018 5:07:10 PM