By Hank Berrien
A 16-year-old student learning at home in a virtual high school chemistry class was told he would be kicked out of the class if he didn’t remove a “Trump 2020” campaign flag from the wall in back of him in his bedroom.
The boy’s mother told ABC10 that he left the Zoom meeting being held for his Colusa High School chemistry class before he could be removed. She said, “I made it very clear that when he repositioned the camera, either the flag needed to be removed or not in the background or she was kicking him out, and she gave him 15 seconds.”
ABC10 noted, “Another student in the classroom took a recording of the virtual classroom as the teacher counted to 15.” The boy’s mother added, “At first I was furious,” noting that the teacher had since apologized. She continued, “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.”
The Colusa Unified School District student handbook states: “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.”
“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,” the student handbook continues. “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.”
The small town of Colusa in northern California, which the 2010 census stated was less than two square miles and lies roughly 65 miles northwest of Sacramento, had a population of roughly 6,000 in the 2010 census; Colusa County is one of the top rice-producing counties in the United States.
According to OpenSecrets.org:
Teachers unions have steadily amped up their political involvement: From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high. Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where our data begins. Two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups.
Author: Hank Berrien