An open records request filed by Milwaukee conservative radio personality Mark Belling has revealed that freedom of speech in some public schools is reserved for those who agree with the unions.
According to information obtained by Belling, a custodian working for a private contractor at Whitewater (Wisconsin) High School was recently fired by her employer after two school employees, including the supervisor of custodians, demanded that she remove a pro-Scott Walker sign from her car and she refused.
If you recall, Big Labor is attempting to recall Gov. Walker over his new law that curtails collective bargaining privileges for public employee unions.
Mary Taylor, an employee with Diversified Building Maintenance, was allegedly sent home after school employees complained to her supervisor about the pro-Walker sign in her car, which was parked in the school parking lot.
Belling said district administrator Eric Runez initially claimed that no one from the school directed Taylor’s employer to have her remove the sign, but Belling’s public information request turned up a conflicting account of how the situation played out.
“… [M]y public records search indicates the custodian supervisor at the school, Cindy Wiedenhoeft, wrote in a memo she acknowledged discussing the sign with a Diversified supervisor and the two agreed to order Mary to remove it,” Belling wrote in an email to EAG.
In a separate memo obtained by Belling, Diversified Manager Joan Dedolph confirmed that school employees demanded that the pro-Walker sign be removed. The good news is that Diversified eventually reinstated Taylor and reassigned her to another school district. The bad news is that she had to be reassigned just because she chose to exercise her freedom of expression.
A quick drive through any Wisconsin school parking lot will reveal dozens of “recall Walker” bumper stickers. Nobody is demanding that the owners of those vehicles lose their jobs.
Readers who think this kind of rigid, narrow-minded thinking isn’t seeping into the classroom are kidding themselves.
Schools were once meant to be places of “light and air” where students could pursue truth and develop critical thinking skills. But in too many schools, students and employees are expected to follow the left-wing orthodoxy that is being tirelessly promoted by the teacher unions.
There is absolutely no reason why Mary Taylor, or anyone else, should be forced to choose between her beliefs and her job. Maybe it’s time Whitewater taxpayers did a little house cleaning in their neighborhood school district.