November 28, 2012

Teacher Writes ‘You Can’t Be A Democrat & Go To Heaven’ On Chalkboard

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (CBS) – A complaint has been filed against a teacher accused of writing anti-Democrat rhetoric on her classroom chalkboard.

“You can't be a Democrat & go to heaven,” the board of South Laurel High School teacher Kendra Baker read earlier this month, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The message reportedly went up one week after the Nov. 6 presidential elections.

Mother Mary Gilbert, whose daughter Chelsea is in Baker’s psychology class, told the paper that she filed a formal complaint with the state’s Education Professional Standards Board.

"I feel like she was bullied by a teacher," she explained.

Doug Bennett, the superintendent for Laurel County schools, said the school addressed the issue with the teacher directly, though he declined to confirm Baker’s name or extrapolate on the consequences of her actions.

"She realizes it's inappropriate," he told the paper of their conversation with the teacher.

According to the Kansas City Star, Baker also apologized to Chelsea, but added that she thought Chelsea could take a joke.

Gilbert is reportedly dissatisfied with the outcome, as Baker is reportedly still in the classroom.

Chelsea Gilbert – who told the Herald-Leader that she supported President Obama – additionally claimed that Baker made comments in class about same-sex marriage. She said she told Baker that she was offending students in the class, some of whom are gay. According to the Star, the exchange brought Chelsea to tears.

Following the incidents, Gilbert removed her daughter from the school, and will teach her from home for the remainder of her senior year, the Star additionally learned.

"She's going to miss a lot," Gilbert noted.

The Kentucky Equality Federation, a gay rights and equality group in the state, released a statement blasting Baker's actions.

"The School Superintendent reprimanded the Laurel County teacher, citing that she broke with policy regarding the environment of the classroom and we thank Superintendent Doug Bennett for his swift action," KEF president Jordan Palmer was quoted as saying in a press release on the organization's website.

"Kentucky Equality Federation contends the objective of such a message was to scare children into thinking a certain ideology by damaging the thought process, scaring the Commonwealth’s youth, introducing partisan politics in the classroom, imposing one-sided views on the classroom and generally directing the students into confined thinking."

Palmer added, "Regardless of the origin of the statement, the teacher had the greater responsibility to remain objective."

Complete News Story: http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/11/28/teacher-writes-you-cant-be-a-democrat-go-to-heaven-on-chalkboard/

Complete News Story: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/11/26/2422193/complaint-filed-against-kentucky.html

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