Trayvon Martin Fundraiser Gets Teacher Fired
Former teacher of the year given the boot
Maryland eighth grade teacher Brooke Harris learned a quick lesson in math last week. Raising funds for Trayvon Martin's family equals subtraction of job.
After noticing how anxious her students were to "do something" about the Martin tragedy she decided to give them a 101 course on how to organize a fundraiser. So, she set it up where each student in the class would donate one dollar to wear a hoodie to school.
The school principal reportedly signed off on the proposal, but the superintendent was not impressed.
Think Progress by way of the Southern Poverty Law Center reports:
[Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell] refused to approve the proposal, despite having supported many other “dress down” fundraisers. Brooke’s students took the disappointment in stride, but asked to present their idea to Cassell in person. . . . Brooke asked that a few of her students be allowed to attend her meeting with Cassell. Outraged by the request, Cassell suspended Brooke for two days. The explanation given — she was being paid to teach, not to be an activist.
Those two days then turned into two weeks unpaid suspension. She was also hit with an insubordination write-up when she stopped by the school to support students participating in a book fair that she also organized. At that point Harris, who was teacher of the year twice over the last three years, asked Cassell to explain exactly why she was suspended in the first place and how to learn from the mistake. That's when Cassell decided to fire her altogether.
Do you think Harris overstepped her boundaries? Is it her responsibility to be an "activist" on top of an educator?