COLUSA, CA – Bedroom wall décor has become the catalyst for a clash between a northern California teen and his high school.
Local news outlets report that the 16-year-old’s chemistry teacher told him to remove a “Trump 2020” campaign flag from the wall of his bedroom last week or be kicked out of the virtual class.
His mom told ABC 10 that he had been doing school work from his bedroom with the flag in the background, and opted to leave the Zoom chemistry class himself before his teacher could kick him out of the virtual lesson.
The boy’s mother, Tiffany, said the teacher gave him 15 seconds to remove the flag or be removed himself. She said another student in the class recorded the virtual classroom as the teacher began counting.
A picture shared with the news station shows the flag above the teen’s bed and next to a separate flag that displays the name of his high school and the school’s mascot “Robbie Redhawk.”
His mom told ABC 10 in a written statement:
“With the distance learning we are all forced to do because of the new color chart, the school district has not addressed the students’ rights in their own home to the teachers or to us as parents.”
She said her son has not been punished for the incident, but that she is frustrated by the lack of guidance for distance learning when it comes to what is or is not allowed to be in the background when students are appearing virtually.
Neither administrators from Colusa High School nor the Colusa Unified School District have commented on the alleged brush up.
There has been no statement posted to official social media pages for either.
ABC 10 reported that an employee referred the TV station only to the school district’s code of conduct.
In terms of free speech protections for students, it reported that the student handbook reads:
“The Governing Board believes that free inquiry and exchange of ideas are essential parts of a democratic education. The Board respects students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands on issues, and support causes, even when such speech is controversial or unpopular.”
The handbook addresses free speech rules on and off campus, and online, but does not appear to have been updated to refer to the new normal of distance learning.
It includes a passage that reads in part:
“Students shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards; the distribution of printed materials or petitions; the wearing of buttons, badges, or insignia, and the right of expression in official publication.
Student expression on school or Internet websites and online media shall generally be afforded the same protections as in print media.
Students’ freedom of expression shall be limited only as allowed by Education Code 48707, 48950, and other applicable state and federal laws.”
A page on the school district’s website marked “COVID-19” gives standard precautions on how to prevent the spread of the virus, like “stay home when you are sick.” It does not mention learn from home procedures or expectations.
The website says approximately 400 students attend the high school in the small California town about 65 miles northwest of Sacramento. The 2010 census put the population there at just below 6,000 people.
However, the controversy last week over the political flag and students’ rights has thrust the small town into the national spotlight.
On Twitter, a man from Los Angeles who goes by “Poppyseed Tincan” tweeted:
“What happened? They kicked a kid out of high school because their political beliefs didn’t mesh with their teacher’s? Colusa High School, what’s wrong with you?”
What happened? They kicked a kid out of high school because their political beliefs didn’t mesh with their teacher’s? Colusa High School, what’s wrong with you?
— Poppyseed Tincan (@losetheblubber) September 28, 2020
Another user, named Mildred Garner, posted:
“Colusa High School & Board of education owe this young gentleman a public apology. This is Northern California, which does surprise me a bit.”
Colusa High School & Board of education owe this young gentleman a public apology. This is Northern California, which does surprise me a bit.
— Mildred Garner (@cmgarner_garner) September 28, 2020
Then of course you have the teacher who was fired over a pro-Trump tweet.
WALLED LAKE, MI – Former Walled Lake Western High School teacher and coach, Justin Kucera, was fired recently fired, he believes, after tweeting out a positive President Trump message.
The tweet said:
“I’m done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president. Don’t @me.”
His tweet, according to the Detroit News, received more than 10,000 likes and almost 2,000 replies. One of those replies was negative towards the President, as well as Kucera himself.
The reports say that @CoachKWLW Justin Kucera was fired from his teaching job for tweeting "@realDonaldTrump is our president," but I disagree. I think he was convicted of COURAGE with the words, "I'm done being silent." pic.twitter.com/44dxJpOsVt
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) July 23, 2020
Kucera responded with a now deleted tweet, saying:
“Liberals suck man.”
Apparently, according to Kucera, informing his followers that the duly elected President of the United States, is, in fact, Donald Trump, is something that he should not have done. And now he’s paying for it with his job.
I’m done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president ❌🧢
Don’t @ me
— Coach Kucera (@CoachKWLW) July 7, 2020
Kucera alleges that a few days after his tweet, he was summed to a virtual meeting with administrators from the school. During this meeting, he was questioned on the tweet regarding President Trump.
Kucera said that his tweet was meant only to be unifying given the turbulent atmosphere the country is currently facing.
He told the Free Beacon:
“I know a lot of people are just rooting for Trump to fail, and I don’t think that anybody should do that. Agree with him or not, you should want the president to do well. I apologized that [my tweet] brought so much negative attention, but I’m not sorry for what I said.”
On a follow up meeting, Kucera said that he was told by school officials, because of the tweet, that he needed to resign or face termination. When he refused to resign, they informed him that he was terminated effective on July 17th.
— Kristie Rust (@kristierust) July 23, 2020
The Agency which oversees the school district in that area, Oakland Schools, flatly denied that the termination was due to Kucera’s support of President Trump and that they could not specifically comment on discipline or personnel matters.
The spokeswoman, Judy Evola, told the Detroit News:
“No disciplinary action was taken as a result of any support of President Trump.”
They added that they value and expect teachers and staff to do “critical thinking, positive discourse” and engage in “community discussion.”
As long as, it seems, it is in line with their own thinking.
“These are difficult times in our community and across our country. When issues arise, there’s a temptation to view items through the lens of our fractured political discourse. Walled Lake encourages students and staff members to engage each other with mutual respect and civility.”
It would be logical for someone to deduce from her comments that announcing to the world what they already know- that Donald Trump is the President- somehow led to disrespect and lack of civility.
Students and athletes that Kucera has coached over his time in the school have said that he is a good teacher and always presented himself as apolitical.
Absolutely disgusting. Bet he's a great teacher. His mistake was not cheering 4 Biden, liberals. If he'd done that, he'd still have a job. Yeah, that's what they teach kids in Walled Lake, #Michigan today. So sad https://t.co/Vjhyblwofa #JustinKucera Justin Kucera #MAGA #Trump
— Debbie Schlussel (@bitchitsdebbie) July 22, 2020
A recent graduate of the school, Bryan Hixson, told the Free Beacon:
“Prior to Mr. Kucera’s tweet, I cannot recall an instance where he shared his political affiliations while teaching or coaching. My political views have no impact on how I feel towards Mr. Kucera.
“Mr. Kucera has always been supportive of me as my AP world history and student leadership teacher and as my baseball and basketball coach.”
The question that comes out of all of this is who is telling the truth? Kucera or the school board?
One would tend to think if Kucera is lying completely, that the school would move forward with a public explanation as to the reason of the termination without expounding on details.
Since the school board has refused to give any explanation as to the cause of the termination, people will likely be less inclined to believe what the school is saying, relying only Kucera’s account. His account, of course, is that he was fired for a tweet that he made.
This situation begs the question: If someone made a tweet against President Trump, would they be terminated as well?
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Here’s another example of those in the education system being discriminated against for not adhering to the far-left agenda.
The so-called “cancel culture” is clearly out of control. Between 40-year-old episodes of a comedy television program being canceled because they showed two women wearing mud masks, to shows that portray real life police work such as Live PD and Cops, the attempt to somehow blackwash (yes, we said it) our culture is absurd.
Now, scholars and researchers that go against the narrative of the Marxist aligned Black Lives Matter are finding themselves out of jobs as well.
At Michigan State University, The College Fix is reporting that Steven Hsu, vice president of research and innovation was forced to resign after a union of graduate employees launched an initiative to have him removed from his role.
His crime? Professor Hsu had the audacity…the unmitigated gall…to suggest that police are no more likely to shoot blacks than they are to shoot whites. The union, which represents teaching and research assistants, had been searching through old blog posts made by Hsu to try to build evidence against him.
Since Hsu is Asian, one might think there could be a hint of racism involved. However, since he is merely Asian and not black, that appears not to matter in this instance.
Unable to gain support to fire Hsu for his posts about the genetic differences among races, they found low-hanging fruit in his stance on police shootings. Hey, if Black Lives Matter says police are systemically racist and they are hunting down African Americans across the country, dammit, you better fall in line!
“The victory of the Twitter mob will likely have a chilling effect on academic freedom on campus,” Hsu told The College Fix in an email.
Professor Hsu stepped down from his vice president role on June 19 after pressure mounted from both the union, as well as university president Samuel Stanley. Hsu will be able to stay on as a physics professor at the university if he chooses to.
Today for #ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM, the GEU and its coalition partners in the STEM community are calling for the removal of Stephen Hsu as VP of Research and Graduate Studies at @michiganstateu.
— Michigan State GEU (@GradEmpUnion) June 10, 2020
On June 10 during a Black Lives Matter promoted event called #ShutDownStem day, the union posted a tweet in which they asked for Hsu’s removal as vice president of research and graduate studies.
In addition, the union shared a petition against Hsu accusing him of “scientific racism” that had over 800 signatures. Also, an open letter signed by over 500 faculty and staff members at Michigan State said that Hsu supports the idea that intelligence is linked to genetics.
Conversely, another petition in support of Professor Hsu had over 1,000 signers, which included college professors from across the country.
“To remove Hsu for holding controversial views, or for inquiring about controversial topics, or for simply talking to controversial personalities…would also set a dangerous precedent, inconsistent with the fundamental principles of modern enlightened higher education,” the petition read.
Hsu rejected claims of “scientific racism” on his personal website, saying:
“I believe that basic human rights and human dignity derive from our shared humanity, not from uniformity or genetic makeup.”
A leader with the graduate student union said there were several reasons for Hsu to be removed, among them was the feeling among some people that if they disagreed with Hsu, they were not able to state their concerns over fear of reprisals.
They also, and this is key, criticized Hsu touting the study that disagrees with the narrative of Black Lives Matter.
“We found that race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot,’ the Michigan State based research said.
Hsu’s quotation of that study set off the mob.
Hsu slammed the attacks against him as baseless.
“The GEU alleged that I am a racist because I interviewed MSU Psychology professor Joe Cesario, who studies police shootings,” he wrote in an email to The College Fix. “But Cesario’s work (along with similar work by others, such as Roland Fryer at Harvard) is essential to understanding deadly force and how to improve policing.”
Cesario is a psychology professor at Michigan State, who co-wrote the study, published in July 2019 that threw the notion that police shoot African Americans more frequently than whites into dispute.
On his blog, Hsu wrote that the research concluded:
“There is no widespread racial bias in police shooting.”
Cesario had received some minor funding for the research under Professor Hsu’s leadership.
The Wall Street Journal, in a widely reported op-ed piece called “The Myth of Systemic Racism” contained Cesario’s research.
Cesario told the Wall Street Journal:
“We had no idea what the data was going to be, what the outcome was going to be, before we did this study.”
The mention of the research in the Journal piece was publicized in the June 9 edition of InsideMSU, an email newsletter. The next day, the union denounced Hsu. Two days later, the editors of the newsletter apologized for “including the item and for the harm it caused,” according to the Journal.
The union claimed that Professor Hsu’s public statements ran counter to the position advocated by the university, which apparently backed the non-substantiated claims by Black Lives Matter of police targeting blacks at a higher rate than whites.
The union’s vice president Acacia Ackles said in an email:
“It is the union’s position that an administrator sharing such views is in opposition to MSU’s statements released supporting the protests and their root cause and aim.”
Stanley released a statement on June 19 defending himself for pressuring Hsu to resign:
“I believe this is what is best for our university to continue our progress forward. The exchange of ideas is essential to higher education, and I fully support our faculty and their academic freedom to address the most difficult and controversial issues.
“But when senior administrators at MSU choose to speak out on any issue, they are viewed as speaking for the university as a whole. Their statements should not leave any room for doubt about their, or our, commitment to the success of faculty, staff and students.”
In other words, you can “exchange” ideas, as long as those ideas do not run counter to the mob.
Time was universities and colleges were a place where students from varying backgrounds and experiences could go and engage in an exchange of ideas in order to give them different perspectives. That is no longer the case. Universities are a place where you conform with leftist ideology or you are scorned, shunned and in some cases destroyed.
Oh hey 55k perhaps I should expand on that thought: https://t.co/ziUCVtAUDx
— Inez Stepman ⚪️🔴⚪️ (@InezFeltscher) July 5, 2020
There is a hue and cry to defund the police. Perhaps a better place to start would be to defund colleges and universities and divest public money from being used to support institutions where free speech is prohibited.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!