9/24/2005

The Raw Story | Teacher and war mom fired for discussing protest crusades for vets

AW STORY caught up with Deb Mayer at Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war protest in Crawford. Mayer was fired for being outspoken about Iraq in the classroom. Her son is a nuclear engineer in the Navy.

Deb Mayer was fired when one of her fourth grade students told a parent Mayer was encouraging students to protest the pending invasion of Iraq. Mayer says she was discussing a current events reading assignment from a Time Magazine issue for children on Iraq, including a section on antiwar demonstrations; a child asked her if she would march in a protest, and Mayer replied by discussing peaceful alternatives to war.

The parent—who Mayer asserts was a postal worker-literally “went postal” at a subsequent meeting with the principal, demanding that Mayer never mention peace in class again. The principal, rather than protecting Mayer’s rights, expressed her expectation that Mayer would comply with the parent’s demand.

According to Mayer, the principal said: “I think she can do that. I think she can not mention peace in the classroom.”

Mayer says she found it difficult not to teach peaceful approaches to students or mention peace in the classroom. She was subsequently reported again by the same child and at the end of the year, and her contract was not renewed. The school system, she says, noted she could be fired without cause.

She is now suing for her original job, compensation for lost wages, and/or to have her record cleared. She filed suit against the Monroe County Community School Corporation in Bloomington, Indiana in Oct. 2004 for $25,000 and unspecified damages.

The Raw Story | Teacher and war mom fired for discussing protest crusades for vets

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