The cautionary tale of two schoolteachers in Georgia who were forced to resign for allegedly committing Trump-related “hate speech” shows just how dangerous the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Trump Effect campaign is turning out to be.
I write about the SPLC’s Trump Effect activism here.
Cross Keys High School in northeast Atlanta was recently featured in a Drudge headline as the school where 140 languages are spoken.
Within a few days of Trump’s election, two teachers at Cross Keys High School in northeast Atlanta were suspended for allegedly committing acts of Trump-related hate speech in their classrooms. Primed for action, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution immediately accused the teachers of racism and linked their alleged conduct to Trump.
“DeKalb Teacher Removed After Pro-Trump Racist Comments,” the AJC blared in a Nov. 11 headline.
Curiously, the newspaper later changed that headline, removing references to both “racism” and “Trump.” It now reads: “Post-Election Tirade Gets DeKalb Teacher Suspended.”
But the racism card has been played, and the accusation can still be found on the Internet.
Despite changing one headline, the AJC continued issuing explosive accusations against both suspended teachers.
“Two DeKalb Teachers Resign for Anti-Immigration Remarks After Trump Win,” was the story on Dec. 13. On Dec. 17, AJC education reporter Marlon A. Walker named the two teachers in an article titled: “Dismissed DeKalb Teachers Made Other Anti-Immigration Remarks.”
What did these teachers actually do? Unsurprisingly, the AJC declined to provide its readers with the official personnel reports on the teachers’ dismissals. Doing so would expose just how little the teachers had done – and how much the AJC was colluding with DeKalb School Superintendent R. Stephen Green to scapegoat the two teachers – and possibly even incite violence against them.
But on Dec. 23, a neighborhood newspaper published the documents detailing the school district’s full investigation of the teachers. The documents are worth reading to see just how little it takes today to become the victim of an official witch-hunt, lose your job, and be publicly vilified as a racist in a major city newspaper.
This is very scary stuff.
The neighborhood paper that published the official reports also spoke with the teachers. Both admit having conversations with their students about Trump’s election and immigration law, but they deny making racist comments or threatening students with deportation, as they have been accused of doing by the school district and the AJC.
Both women strongly assert that they were actually trying to reassure students that, in the wake of Trump’s election, they would help them try to stay in the country if they were ever threatened with deportation.
“There was hysteria among the students,” one teacher told the neighborhood reporter. “They accused me of being a racist. The opposite is the truth.”
The other teacher detailed her devotion to her students in a letter she sent to the school district:
A student in my First period class told his mother who later contacted Dr. Greene’s office that I told him in front of the class that he had no rights because he was Hispanic, and that I would call immigration (I am paraphrasing here.) if he didn’t do his work.
First, I am a lawyer by degree. Even if I believed such things … which I do not … I would never state such. Who am I to discuss anyone’s rights? During class that day (after the General Election), I repeated to each of my classes what I have said many times before. I stand with the students of Cross Keys High School and will assist them during this trying time for many of them as best I can. I proceeded to tell each of my classes that the best thing for them to do is attend classes on a regular basis and consistently. I also told them to study every day, to take part in class discussions and to ask questions when they did not understand something.
In other words, the teacher was advising her students, who had asked, that the best way to look good to immigration authorities was to stay in school and work hard.
Some people have criticized the teachers for bringing politics into their classrooms at all. But in such a highly politicized, identity-politics-infested school environment, there is little chance that the teachers could have opted out of discussing either the election or the issue of immigration. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.
The teacher continues:
Several of the First Period young men suddenly stated that I was frightening them. I replied I didn’t mean to frighten them, and that I was simply repeating what I had stated in the past. This is based on the fact that as recently as last year, I had [given] written statements twice to immigration regarding student performance at school. In both instances, there were no problems because the students had excellent attendance, studied, and asked questions in class or at tutorial. One student barely spoke English, but we made communication between the two of us work.
Telling your illegal alien students to stay in school and work hard so you can help them apply for amnesty can get you labeled a racist and booted from your profession these days. Little wonder that Cross Keys and other schools throughout the district struggle to keep teachers.
Most disturbingly, the disciplinary reports reveal that one of the teachers labeled as a racist by the AJC was now being targeted for a physical attack by a group of students. A male teacher reported that a student informed him that the female teacher was being targeted. The school’s principal, in turn, cited the possible attack in his report to the superintendent as evidence that the teacher should be fired.
Yet none of these three men – not the teacher whose student had confessed the potential crime, nor the school’s principal, nor the superintendent, seemed the least bit interested in pursuing the students who were threatening a teacher with physical violence. All three men blamed the woman for bringing the threat on herself.
This sort of violence is the real intended outcome of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Trump Effect campaign, of the Black Lives Matter movement, and of other late-stage leftist fascism.
Whether it’s crowds of protesters pepper-spraying Gavin McInnes at NYU or sleazy school administrators and fellow teachers blaming a teacher for students’ plans to “jump” her, the message is the same: people who fail to be politically correct enough now simply deserve to be “jumped,” and the people who attack them are not responsible for their actions.
Donald Trump is responsible. Or, the police are. Or, as one simpering snowflake named Brenda Khor cited prominently in the Cross Keys disciplinary file puts it, “Caucasian” women who fail to unconditionally accept the absolute, unfailing wonderfulness of all members – good and bad – of minority groups that they are privileged to teach need to be dragged through the streets for their crimes.
In the Nov. 11, 2016 post at her personal blog, the aforementioned snowflake wrote:
I found a picture of [the teacher] through the school’s website. Let me tell you why I think she felt that she was able to say this…because Trump became President of the US. People who think like him feel more confident than ever to explicitly show discrimination… now more than ever. [The teacher] is a Caucasian woman who does not understand or seem to want to understand where her students came from…why they felt scared especially during this time. All teachers should have heart, compassion, and respect for themselves and their students; [the teacher] has demonstrated none of these qualities.
I took a moment and just tried to collect my thoughts, my emotions, and honestly, my sanity from not self-destructing . . .
How can we ensure student success with a remark like [hers]? How can we lead students to a higher education with a remark like [hers]? How is life-long learning possible with a remark like [hers]? Let me tell you, it is not possible. She is not fit to be a teacher. Her actions need to have severe consequences because this is inappropriate and unacceptable. Her words marked more fear for these students…she does not have to go through what they go through on a [sic] everyday basis.
As snowflakes do, this snowflake recommended re-education and public humiliation for the offending teacher:
She not only needs to be fired, but she needs to find some remedy for herself and for her students in the form of acknowledging the inappropriateness of her actions and apologizing for them.
This 2,000-word letter is from a former Cross Keys student who never met the teacher in question and got all her information about the alleged incident from the news media. Yet her screed is actually included as evidence in the teacher’s disciplinary file. The principal who put it there and the superintendent who accepted this joke of a document are the ones who really need to be investigated.
The picture of Cross Keys High School that emerges from the disciplinary reports is not one of racist teachers but of a school fraught with discipline problems, where teachers and administrators collude to pretend that it is perfectly normal that students roam the halls ignoring their teachers and acting out, and anyone who dares to protest the status quo – anyone who dares to do anything other than pander to the gods of political correctness at every turn — risks being persecuted, fired, publicly slandered, and even “jumped” by a gang of thugs.
I haven’t set foot in Cross Keys High School in 25 years, but that sounds about right. In 1991, I worked for a refugee agency that provided resources to the huge numbers of refugees and immigrants being placed in the school’s community. Part of my job was to seek federal funding to deal with the violence being perpetrated by immigrant and minority gangs there.
Writing that grant was an exercise in euphemism.
The violence was serious, and the nonprofit agencies I was representing in the grant wanted that federal money – taxpayer money – for their programs and paychecks. But even as I was tasked to document the crimes being committed by ethnic gangs in Cross Keys and nearby communities, I was also tasked with playing down the same violence – because it was being committed by ethnic gangs.
The solution was to talk only about the ethnic minority victims of those crimes. Other victims, particularly the native Clarkston residents being displaced by thousands of refugees and immigrants, could not be acknowledged – though they certainly could be blamed for the plight of those poor young ethnic men joining gangs.
Boy, were we amateurs back then. I managed somehow to write that grant without the assistance of hate crime laws, Trump Effect reports, and Black Lives Matter activist agitprop. But what I was doing was really no different from these highly organized campaigns. My job was to demand more taxpayer money to provide more “resources” to address crime problems we were importing into already crime-saturated communities.
And if the money was not handed over, then blame would go to the very taxpayers whom we were displacing and vilifying.
The New York Times has made a hobbyhorse of this community for a long time. What they don’t talk about – what nobody is allowed to talk about – is the real transformation of these once-stable communities and schools into chaotic hellholes where nobody wants to live. Northeast Atlanta’s gang problem is even worse now than when I wrote that grant.
That’s another quarter-century of wasted lives, wasted effort, and wasted money.
When things get this bad, a steady supply of scapegoats must be made available. Cross Keys purged and punished two of them recently. With the assistance of the Southern Poverty Law Center and its Trump Effect report, school administrators nationwide will no doubt find more.