Last week during a pep rally, California chemistry teacher Wendy Pappas knelt during the national anthem, holding a sign that said "Black Lives Matter." Woodland High School suspended her for the rest of that day (a Friday) and the following Monday, The Daily Wire reports.
Principal Kerrie Sequeria e-mailed a surprisingly good (we're talking about a school near San Francisco) statement to the families of Woodland students:
While teachers do retain certain First Amendment rights in their capacity as an instructor, such rights are limited by Education Code and case law. Their personal, political or religious beliefs are not appropriately expressed at school or in the classroom. Instead, the appropriate and legal instructional role is one of neutral facilitator – one who facilitates student discussion and intelligent analysis of current events.
Pappas, displaying a bizarre degree of obliviousness about current events, said that she didn't realize anyone would be offended or take her action as a protest. “I felt like it was something respectful and supportive to our flag. I didn’t even think of it as a protest. I was taken off-guard by the reaction.” If this is true, she is living in one heck of a bubble.
It may be worth noting that Ms. Pappas was placed on paid leave. Did she do this because she feels deeply that there are racial injustices in America, or was she trying to get a four-day weekend? Either way, she's short-changing her students. Or maybe they're better off without her.