Florida anti-gay teacher Jerry Buell was reinstated Wednesday, despite the fact that he wrote on his Facebook wall that hearing the news that same-sex marriage in New York “almost made [him] throw up.”
We asked the ACLU to help us understand why they took this position. Here’s what they told us:
Given our belief that Mr. Buellâ€™s off-campus Facebook post, though offensive, was protected by the First Amendment, we are satisfied to see that the school board has taken no further disciplinary action.
The ACLU believes that the response to offensive speech is not the restriction of speech, but more speech, which is why the ACLU has created programs like the â€œDonâ€™t Filter Meâ€ project to ensure that public schools arenâ€™t illegally denying students access to positive, affirming information about LGBT issues.
Mr. Buellâ€™s Facebook comments, though protected, highlight that work still needs to be done to help people understand why LGBT equality is so important. The ACLU will continue working hard to make sure public schools are safe for all students, including LGBT students, in Florida and in communities across the country.
What do you think?
Is this a freedom of speech issue, or should the rights, needs, and safety of LGBT students be placed ahead of the rights of their teachers?
Is this an opportunity to further discussion, or do teachers, to paraphrase Tinker v. Des Moines,Â shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse employ?
Does the advent of the Internet place an entire new lens on free speech and responsibility of those the state employs to teach, motivate, and protect our young?
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‘Blood Everywhere’ and ‘The World Is Dead’: Prosecutor Details Accused School Mass Shooter’s Alarming Note
Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed a teacher was so alarmed by a note she saw on Ethan Crumbley‘s desk the morning of the shooting she took a photo of it with her cell phone and alerted school administrators. Hours later eleven students would be shot. Four of them died.
That note, McDonald revealed, “contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘the thoughts won’t stop help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet: ‘blood everywhere.’ Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘my life is useless,’ and to the right of that are the words, ‘The world is dead.'”
Crumbley, 15, is the accused Oakland High School mass shooter who is now facing murder and terrorism charges and is being charged as an adult. On Friday McDonald announced she is charging his parents with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter.
“As a result,” of the teacher finding the note, McDonald told reporters, “James and Jennifer Crumbley were immediately summoned to the school. A school counselor came to the classroom and removed the shooter and brought him to the office with his backpack.”
She says the school counselor had obtained the note but Crumbley “had already altered it.”
“The drawings of the gun and the bloody figure were scratched out along with the words ‘help me,’ and ‘my life is useless,’ ‘The world is dead,’ and ‘blood everywhere.’ Those were all altered by him”.
“At the meeting James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.”
McDonald says the parents “resisted the idea of … their son leaving the school at that time. Instead, James and Jennifer promptly left the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.”
The mass shooting began shortly thereafter.
Ethan Crumbley is accused of murdering four of his classmates and wounding seven others. The students who died are Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17.
Disturbing update: The Oxford school shooter drew images of a semi-automatic handgun with the note “blood everywhere” the morning of the shooting.
His parents were called to the school and shown the drawing. They refused to remove their son from school. pic.twitter.com/C7qvxUWblR
— The Recount (@therecount) December 3, 2021
Prosecutor Reveals Disturbing Texts, Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Against Parents of Michigan High School Accused Shooter
The parents of 15-year old Ethan Crumbley, the accused Oxford High School mass shooter, have been charged with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter, CNN reports. The prosecutor also revealed a disturbing text exchange between Crumbley and his mother.
Crumbley, who is being charged as an adult. is accused of murdering four Michigan high school students and wounding seven others in the deadliest school shooting in at least three years. He faces charges including terrorism and murder.
“The semiautomatic handgun recovered in the attack was bought by the suspect’s father on Nov. 26, four days before the shooting, the county sheriff has said,” CNN adds. “Prosecutors are considering information regarding the purchase of the gun and its accessibility and storage, along with other details. The weapon is a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, authorities have said.”
Friday afternoon Oakland County, Michigan, prosecutor Karen McDonald (photo) in a news conference said the charges against Crumbley’s parents are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable,” and to “send a message.”
In a stunning development McDonald told reporters a teacher had caught “Ethan Crumbley searching ‘ammunition’ on his cell phone in class” and reported it to school officials. School officials contacted Crumbley’s mother via a voicemail and via an email “but received no response from either parent.”
“Thereafter,” McDonald continued, “Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages with her son on that day, stating: ‘LOL. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.'”
An Oakland County prosecutor says a teacher caught Ethan Crumbley searching ammunition on his cellphone during class, notified administrators, & contacted Crumbley’s parents. His mom wrote to his son, “LOL. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.” pic.twitter.com/CUahR5w4Io
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 3, 2021
Newsmax Host Falsely Attacks Biden and Entire Democratic Party for Declaring ‘War on Christianity’
A host on the far right wing cable and streaming TV channel Newsmax has declared the entire Democratic Party, including its devoutly-Catholic President, has “declared war,” not on just Christmas, but on “Christianity” itself. That would be extremely surprising to the majority of Democratic registered voters who self-identify as Christian.
The revelation of a “war on Christianity” comes in a wide-ranging attack on the left from the Newsmax host Friday morning, who decided to attack the White House’s highly-praised Christmas decorations this year, which were designed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
“This week is about Christmas at the White House,” the host declared. “I love Christmas decorations. But this looks a little like a Carnival Cruise especially from an administration and political party as a whole that has declared war on Christianity for a while now.”
Newsmax host objects to the White House Christmas decorations because the administration “has declared war on Christianity” pic.twitter.com/7Rcb9JEAcK
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 3, 2021
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