She said they said he said

Teacher Looking Into Legal Rights


Teacher Pulled From Classroom Can Put President Bush Photo Back Up

This bizarre case continues. The accusations continue. The denials and counter-accusations continue. The counter-denials and counter-counter-accusations continue.

Let it suffice to say that election season in America continues.

The first story I linked to says school officials cite teacher Shiba Pillai-Diaz’s

“zealous misuse of seventh- and eighth-grade student instructional time”

as the reason she says she was

told by the school’s principal to “get your stuff and get out.”

In response, the school says she is guilty of

“abandoning her post”

since she got out.

Weirderer and weirderer.

One of the complaints from parents in yesterday’s stories was that the teacher wouldn’t discuss politics with the students when they asked her about the picture and the election. Today’s stories tell us that the school is taking her back as long as she stops discussing politics.

Shouldn’t they have at least got their story straight first?

School Superintendent Gary McCartney said the teacher’s display of pictures made the presentation appear partisan to many students and parents.

McCartney said Pillai-Diaz once told her students she was “glad they were not old enough to vote” — and that she told one student, “You should be ashamed to be a Democrat.”

Pillai-Diaz denied talking about politics with students and told a newspaper, “You would have to be incredibly stupid to say those things to a student.”

Of course, maybe the teacher is “incredibly stupid”. But at least her story has stayed consistent and seems to fit in with the take from the parents and some of the earlier statements by the school. The school’s current interpretation of events doesn’t seem to mesh quite so well.

School officials said the flap had nothing to do with Pillai-Diaz’s support for Bush.

They said there are plenty of other teachers who are staunch Republicans.

As in: “Some of my best friends are Republicans.” Riiiiight.

Possibly even bigger than the story itself is the coverage it’s (not) getting. The first story I linked was on the WPIX website out of Pittsburgh. The second, incredibly, is on WFTV out of Florida.

I like to call it WTF-TV, since the website seems to glory in noting the most bizarre and outlandish stories it can find. This story is in their “News of the Strange” section. I’ll agree that this is indeed strange, but isn’t it also strange that a search on Google News for “Shiba Pillai-Diaz” currently (as of this writing) shows NO HITS on anything considered Big Time Media. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

As I wrote earlier:

I wonder what the coverage would be if a teacher in a solidly red state put a picture of Kerry on the bulletin board and was kicked out of the building when she refused to take it down as ordered by the principal.

Think that it might register with certain groups? The NEA, maybe? The ACLU? And that perhaps a major news outlet might pick the story up? CNN, for instance? The New York Times?

I don’t know for sure, but I imagine that if a Democrat teacher was reportedly kicked out of over a picture of John Kerry (ignoring for the moment the fact that he’s NOT THE PRESIDENT) there would be Hell To Pay. We’d be hearing all about the “crushing of dissent” and that this is just what the Nazis did.

Maybe a question about this story could be asked in tonights VP debate. After all, John Edwards was on ABC News Nightline saying that any Americans who vote for Bush have “lost their mind”. That sounds similar to what this teacher is accused of saying to her students. Let’s get this out in the open and discuss it.