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SPLC: Michigan teacher fired for helping students with Trayvon Martin fund drive. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-09-12 10:48 PM
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SPLC: Michigan teacher fired for helping students with Trayvon Martin fund drive.
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The principal says she wants the students to be educated, but not to be taught how to be activists.

Civil rights group: Michigan teacher fired for helping students with Trayvon Martin fund drive

PONTIAC, Mich. A national civil rights group called Monday for the reinstatement of a southeastern Michigan teacher it says was fired for helping students organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin, a teen shot to death by a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., said that Brooke Harris was fired in March "with little explanation" from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School. The center said Harris was fired for her role in a student fundraising effort that was opposed by the charter school's leader.

Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell told The Associated Press that she couldn't discuss personnel matters such as Harris's firing but said she wants students' focus at the end of the school year to be on learning, not activism.

"In every situation, there are work rules," Cassell said. "When rules are violated, there are consequences."


Harris was told she "was a bad teacher, that I was being unprofessional, that I'm being paid to teach, not to be an activist," Harris told the Detroit Free Press. She said when she tried to defend herself "it was construed as insubordination."

That insubordination is becoming a code word used by administrators when a teacher thinks for herself.

The SPLC asks what kind of world do we have when a "teacher is fired for helping them understand the world around them?"
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