[2/15/17] Employees of a Georgia school district known for its diversity of refugees and migrants – legal and illegal – are being told not to express themselves on or off campus if their views on immigration line up with those of President Donald Trump.
If their words are considered not “welcoming” of refugees and migrants, they will face investigation and possible termination.
DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Stephen Green issued the statement after Trump’s executive orders banning travel temporarily from seven Muslim countries. In it, Green delivered a stern warning to teachers and staff: Any comments made inside or outside the classroom must line up with the school district’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.
The statement, issued Jan. 30, is the second such warning Green has issued since Trump’s election and since two teachers were forced to resign, one in November and another in December, for allegedly making comments disparaging of illegal immigration in the presence of students and staff. The teachers reportedly told illegal-alien students they would be deported under Trump, but the teachers say their comments were bent out of context.
Green is now taking it a step further, warning teachers not to inject their personal beliefs into the classroom if they line up with those of the president of the United States.
Green told a local newspaper, the Champion, that his Jan. 30 statement sought to grant students assurance that DeKalb County Schools officials remain committed to being “culturally responsive, diverse and supportive” of DeKalb County’s immigrant population.
“Our schools will be safe places for learning and teaching,” he wrote in the statement. “We will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination on or off district property that interferes with learning or the rights of others.”
The term “bullying” apparently now applies to social-media posts of a political nature that agree with Trump policies, a legal analyst with the nonprofit Liberty Counsel told WND.
Besides the termination of the two teachers at Cross Keys High School in DeKalb, a staff nurse at nearby Cary Reynolds Elementary school was investigated for alleged anti-immigration comments she posted on Facebook, the district confirmed.
High school is 1 percent white
Cross Keys High School is located in the wealthy, mostly white Brookhaven area of Atlanta. But the school itself is 80 percent Hispanic, 11 percent black, 6 percent Asian, 1 percent white and 1 percent other races, according to district data.
Most parents of students at Cross Keys speak English as a second language, “if at all,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Students in DeKalb County Schools come from 180 countries and speak 140 different languages. Green said he wanted to “make sure all our principals and teachers clearly understand” the district’s position, specifically regarding immigrants and refugees. No pro-Trump immigration rhetoric will be tolerated, on campus or off.
“We are hearing a lot of conversation right now, some of it extreme, about how residents originally from outside our country should be treated,” Green said in his statement. “We have 102,000 students here. They come from more than 180 countries, and they speak 140 languages. We value them; we love them and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America – our diversity is our strength.”