How should teachers eliminate becoming victims of discipline associated with swastika symbols?

Teachers are becoming victimized by the acts of students across the nation that are associated with swastika symbols. This shift is causing reverse discrimination to become an integral part of a school’s culture. Teachers will need to consider instructional  alternatives that result in educating students who are the perpetrators of using swastika symbols.

According to the article, High School teacher is suspended for rescinding her student’s college letter after sending it because the teen created a swastika with tape and made offensive remarks, several teachers at the Stoughton High School in Massachusetts were disciplined for a negative response to a student who publicly used a swastika symbol.

The act was implemented by a student that fashioned a swastika from tape that was displayed in the halls of the school before Thanksgiving. The student was suspended for the act. Several teachers at the high school responded to the incidents. Two teachers spoke about the incident to their students and received official reprimands for their act that opposed the usage of the swastika symbol.

Another teacher responded by rescinding her college recommendation for the student. She went as far as to explain to the university officials why she was rescinding her recommendation. The school district responded by suspending the teacher for twenty days.

After the teacher complained about the incident, his parent responded by hiring an attorney. ‘The student believed that he was being targeted, creating a hostile environment for him by members of the faculty because of his actions, despite having already been disciplined by the administration.” Could the Stoughton Public School District have violated the teachers freedom of speech rights?

What are the limitations of the teacher freedom of speech rights related to an incident of White privilege?

A teachers freedom of speech rights are only connected to political preferences. A teacher is considered a public employee. The decision in Heffernan vs. City of Paterson revived a free-speech lawsuit brought by a New Jersey police detective who was demoted because he was seen carrying a campaign sign supporting the mayor’s opponent. It was reported that he was putting the sign in his car to deliver it to his mother, not because he was supporting the mayor’s opponent. But a federal judge in New Jersey and the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said Jeffrey Heffernan, the police detective, could not sue under the 1st Amendment because he did not engage in “1st Amendment conduct.” The appeals court said demoted employees can sue for retaliation only if they could point to an “actual, rather than perceived, exercise of constitutional rights.” This case eventually made the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen G. Breyer stated that “the Constitution prohibits a government employer from discharging or demoting an employee because the employee supports a particular political candidate.”

However, this is not the case for the Stoughton High School teachers that vehemently opposed the usage of a swastika symbol by the student. Teachers are subjected to acts of immoral conduct.

In the case of Vanelli v. Reynolds School District No. 7, George Vanelli, was hired by the school district to teach sophomore English at Reynolds High School during the 1975-76 school year under a probationary contract which ran for one academic year, and which reserved the school board’s right to discharge the teacher “for any cause deemed in good faith sufficient by the Board.” Midway through the year, some female students complained of offensive conduct by Vanelli. This conduct was viewed as hostile towards the female students which is consistent with the parent’s complaints at the Stoughton High School.

Teachers who desire to oppose the actions of students that exhibit characteristics associated with using a swastika symbol should use the curriculum. There are several cases, Mederious v. Kiyosaki and Hawaii Cornwell v. State Board of Education that allow teachers to enhance the approved curriculum as long as the students have an opportunity to an alternative setting during this instructional module. The process for including an opposition to hate acts associated with swastika symbol will need administrative approval.

Related Articles

Two swastikas found near Horace Mann Elementary School

Youths responsible for swastika symbol on Mount Allison football field

Swastikas at Stanford University: Second Time in a Month

All the best,

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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About Classroom Racism Management Specialist

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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One Response to How should teachers eliminate becoming victims of discipline associated with swastika symbols?

  1. JaDonnia B. says:

    Excellent coverage! E

    Liked by 1 person

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