Does it mean that a teacher now doesn’t have the freedom to talk about our history in class anymore? Her 1st Amendment right would be infringed upon.
Jeena Lee-Walker, the teacher who had a lesson on Central Park 5, which has raised controversy, was accused of being biased, talking about the wrongfully convicted Black teens, and got fired. This week, the teacher filed a lawsuit.
According to Lee-Walker, she thinks that “because [the students’] instinctual reaction was, like, ‘Oh my God, this is such an injustice, cops are bad’ — just very emotional responses— maybe that was part of what the administrators felt fearful about or unbalanced.”
The truth is always hard to say and until we face the truth about the Justice System and mass incarceration of mostly black and Latino people in this country, we will never get to the root of it. All that she was doing was informing these young pupils.
In Lee-Walker’s lawsuit, she said that most of the students were blacks and Latinos, so the information was relevant to them.
Even though the school officials did not stop her from giving her English lessons, they cornered her to compromise her opinions by being “fair and evenhanded”.
In her lawsuit, she stated that her lecture was a form of political speech, which is protected by the First Amendment.
“So long as the teacher — consistent with the overall goals of the curriculum — instructs her students without manufacturing history or misleading them, there is no legitimate governmental interest in restraining a teacher’s classroom instruction over fears that students will ‘riot’ or otherwise lose control while learning about an historical event.”
But city’s motion over-rules her argument and they claim she was doing her work as a public school teacher and hence is not protected by First Amendment. If this goes through as it stands now, the freedom of speech will soon become a myth and it will first of all touch upon black people, as the state seems to interested in depriving them from the knowledge of institutionalized racism or systematic injustice – nobody wants us to fight for our rights.
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