ILNews

SCOTUS deciding whether to hear teacher firing case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Supreme Court of the United States has asked for more information before deciding whether to accept a case involving a former Bloomington elementary school teacher fired over comments she made about the Iraq war during class.

Deborah A. Mayer, who now teaches at an elementary school in Florida, lost her job after making comments to elementary students in early 2003 - just prior to the war's beginning - that she would "honk for peace" when passing war protests. Some parents later complained about her comments, and the Monroe County Community School Corp. ultimately fired her.

She lost her claims before U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker in Indianapolis and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which ruled in favor of the school district in January and dismissed the claim.

Today marks the due day for briefs from the school district, which initially passed on the opportunity to respond to Mayer's petition.

If the nation's highest court accepts the case, this would be the first briefing before the SCOTUS that Lebanon attorney Michael L. Schultz, with Parr Richey O'Bremskey & Morton, would have. He is asking the court to consider whether the free speech clause of the First Amendment limits a public school board's power to punish a teacher's instructional speech, when that speech is part and parcel of the approved curriculum and involves a matter of great public concern

Circuit courts are split on the issue, Schultz said, including the 7th Circuit that established in its ruling that teachers don't have any protection. Others have ruled that there's no unfettered right to restrict teacher speech on important public matters, as well as that schools have a right to censor certain speech and publications.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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