NC Teacher Who Pushed Trump-Hitler Comparisons Resigns in Wake of Investigation

A North Carolina high school English Teacher has apparently resigned in the wake of an investigation into politically charged lessons that included comparing speeches by Adolf Hitler to that of Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

At the Orange County School Board meeting this past Monday, the Board Chair, Dr. Stephen Halkiotis, issued a statement about recent turn of events at Cedar Ridge High School.

Dr. Halkiotis stated that, While our teachers are free to educate students about political issues, when relevant to the curriculum, there is a fundamental difference between educating and advocating; between informing and voicing personal views.   Our policies are clear on these points.

In the statement, Dr. Halkiotis alludes to an investigation that was prompted after this site revealed audio of  one of a series of lessons involving the insertion of questionable and biased political opinions.

The statement also indicates that the teacher in question has resigned.

The Orange County Board’s statement follows an email sent to all employees on the topic, which was previously reported by this site.

Read Halkiotis’ full statement:

“At the outset, I would like to make a few comments about what has now become a public issue on political speech in our school system.  We all know this is a tense topic given the election season.  Please know that our Board of Education has clear policies that prohibit staff from promoting or denouncing a particular candidate or party.   While our teachers are free to educate students about political issues, when relevant to the curriculum, there is a fundamental difference between educating and advocating; between informing and voicing personal views.   Our policies are clear on these points.  As an example, Board policy 7720 prohibits staff from making “ use of an official school position to encourage or to coerce students or other employees of the district to support in any way a political party, candidate or issue.”

The Orange County Schools takes seriously any allegations raised about violations of this policy.   The school system conducts a full and fair review of any such allegations and takes appropriate action based on the results of the review.  While the details of any such review are confidential based on personnel laws, I am permitted to state that the teacher in question made the voluntary decision to resign from her employment with the school district effective today.      

Orange County Schools hires and retains teachers that are second to none, who are dedicated to accomplishing the goals of our strategic plan for the benefit our students.  Our teachers day in and day out provide educational opportunities at the highest level  and do so without promoting or denouncing a candidate or party, in compliance with our policies.  If an exception to this high level of excellence and compliance may occur, the school system takes it seriously, conducts a full and fair review, and addresses the matter appropriately.  While this matter has been concluded with the teacher’s voluntary decision, and without any personnel decision on the part of the school district, please know that our district has once again reminded all staff about the importance of following our policy on this topic.”


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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor at American Lens. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her past writing can also be found at IJ review, Breitbart, FOX news, Da Tech Guy Blog, Heartland Institute, Civitas Institute and StopCommonCoreNC.org. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in Education, Elections, EXCLUSIVE, LadyLiberty1885 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to NC Teacher Who Pushed Trump-Hitler Comparisons Resigns in Wake of Investigation

  1. Definition of hypocrisy says:

    Another good teacher lost. Another student taught that if they don’t agree with something, run to their parents and let them fight their fights. If a student felt what she was saying was wrong, that student should have the nerve and confidence to stand up and say so, or have a private conversation. That was the real, valuable lesson to be had here. But that was lost in favor of parent intervention and secret recordings. These are high school students, not infants. What kind of kids are we raising? They don’t need their parents running for help when their feeling get hurt. This whole thing could have been resolved with a conversation, but the hysteria of the day ruled. You all should be embarrassed. What is funny is Trump is supposed to be the anti PC guy, yet a teacher was literally run out of her job for criticizing him. I hope someday you will see the lunacy of that. Now when these kids run go off to college and are inundated with “safe spaces” or “minority only” spaces where students are free from “micro-aggressions” so nobody’s feelings get hurt, just know that you have no space to complain, you are part of that environment, where the radical 5% from the Left and the Right speak for the rational 90%, because we know all to well the wrath of hurt feelings.

    • A.P. Dillon says:

      It’s not a matter of disagreement.
      It is against state and local policy to inject personal political opinions into the classroom.

      What was said was not only inappropriate, it was insulting to kids sitting there who have parents who might support Trump. Also, it wasn’t a one class incident per a second student who sent me a timeline.

      Excerpt:
      “On September 12th, the timeline of events says that, “Mrs. Harder was explaining Ethos, Paths and Logos and asked the class if she can think of anybody who shows a lot of Pathos. One of the kids says, ‘Trump’ and she agrees and says how much she hates him and thinks he’s an idiot.””

      Try reading it: https://ladyliberty1885.com/2016/09/26/nc-high-school-issues-reminder-after-questionable-trump-hitler-lesson/

      • Definition of hypocrisy says:

        I have read it. It is not egregious or spoken with the intent to insult. If it is out of line, it could have been corrected with a simple conversation, not a national news story. But as hysteria is the national norm, the conservative thought police decided it could be a good hit job, so they jumped on it. As I said, if you want to coddle children and teach them that getting their feelings hurt or listening to opposing points of view is unacceptable, good job. The lesson here was to stand up and voice your opinion, go to the teacher and tell her you disagreed with the content of the lesson, not run to your parents and secretly record a lesson, then send it to a right wing blogger to destroy someone’s career. Nowhere have I heard anything along the lines of “The teacher refused to adjust her lesson plan when informed that students took offense to the content”. Why? Because it never happened, they didn’t have the integrity to confront her in person. I will say this as well, she has every right to hate Trump. Are we going to fire every teacher who mentions the president in an unfavorable light? Would you be OK if a teacher was fired for criticizing Obama? Would you be OK with firing a teacher who mentioned God? I wonder if we fired every teacher who uttered a prayer in a classroom where you would fall on that issue. Remember, it is against state and local policy to mention God in the classroom.

    • jweaksnc says:

      Another false narrative from an anonymous commenter. This was not about Trump, or over protective parents, or coddling kids, or political disagreement, or right versus left, etc.

      It was about proper teaching practice versus inappropriate teaching practice. Calling conservatives crazy (just one example) is not appropriate teaching practice. The same would be true if she had said crazy liberal. As Ms. Dillon pointed out this is not a matter of disagreement.

      As I said before I would have preferred a different resolution, but this was not acceptable teaching practice. It created an unnecessarily hostile environment and it was, in fact, a violation of policy.

      • Definition of hypocrisy says:

        False Narrative? First, I published my comment by the means provided. Your comment is every bit as anonymous as mine. Nothing I said was false in any way. Are you claiming this site would have pressured the school board to act had she criticized Obama? Please provide me with a single case where a teacher has been force to resign for criticizing a political figure, becasue this is the first I have ever heard of it. There is simply no precedence for this kind of hysterical overreaction. And by the way, if you cared to actually read the transcript, she said her father was “crazy conservative” in the context of “crazy” being used as “extreemly”. The definition of the word according to the dictionary can be used to mean “to an extreme degree” Nobody was called “crazy” as you claim. You are the one pushing a false narrative here. You have inaccurately inferred an insult. Hardly grounds for a forced resignation.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        This is not a “hysterical overreaction”. This was not about “insults”.

        You’re missing the point. Entirely.

        This was about inserting a political opinion (over and over) into a class lesson. These kids are a captive audience and were made to sit there and listen to their teacher disparage a political candidate, party and a news outlet.

        And yes, had this lesson been about Clinton or Obama and the audio been sent to me, I would have published it.

        By the way, it looks like the teacher was planning to leave.

        “According to documentation from Orange County Schools, Amanda Harder was originally planning to resign effective Dec. 21, in a decision unrelated to the uproar. That resignation was scheduled to be voted on by the Board of Education Monday night, but Harder tendered an updated resignation Monday that was effective immediately, said Seth Stephens, chief communications officer for the district.”

        http://www.heraldsun.com/news/community-reacts-to-resignation-of-cedar-ridge-high-teacher/article_1f33179e-85c1-11e6-a4cc-9bc5b6c243c3.html

      • Definition of hypocrisy,

        “First, I published my comment by the means provided. Your comment is every bit as anonymous as mine.”

        Not true. I use my real name and I always try to leave a link to one of my profiles. If you had read all my comments, you could easily see that I identified myself.

        “Nothing I said was false in any way.”

        Incorrect. Read on…

        “Are you claiming this site would have pressured the school board to act had she criticized Obama? Please provide me with a single case where a teacher has been force to resign for criticizing a political figure, becasue this is the first I have ever heard of it. There is simply no precedence for this kind of hysterical overreaction.”

        Red Herring fallacy.

        “And by the way, if you cared to actually read the transcript, she said her father was “crazy conservative” in the context of “crazy” being used as “extreemly”. The definition of the word according to the dictionary can be used to mean “to an extreme degree” Nobody was called “crazy” as you claim.”

        I never said she meant crazy as insane. Even if the context implies a matter of degree (it does not), it still doesn’t make it appropriate if she meant crazy=extremist. I don’t base my judgment solely on that one recorded instance and this is just another Red Herring to deflect the argument and deny what was literally said.

        “You are the one pushing a false narrative here. You have inaccurately inferred an insult. Hardly grounds for a forced resignation.”

        I have no knowledge that it was a forced resignation. I never wanted her to resign or to be terminated.

        Let me make sure I understand this…

        Teacher injects inappropriate subjective opinions.
        Teacher injects inappropriate personal political opinions.
        Teacher calls certain people crazy.
        Teacher calls certain people stupid.
        Teacher violates known policy.
        Teacher gets called on it.
        Teacher resigns.

        This the fault of:
        A. National hysteria
        B. Weak-minded students
        C. Meddling parents
        D. Right-Wingers!
        E. Bloggers
        F. All of the above

        Correct Answer: F. All of the above

        I would laugh at this scapegoating if it were not so sad.

        The scapegoating, the excuse making, and the pointing of the finger everywhere except at the teacher is wrong and just plain sad.

        I have standing in this matter as the parent of a student in one of this teacher’s English classes. I did not call for her to be fired or to resign. Other parents may have, but I never heard it. I know one parent that was going to the School Board meeting to speak up about it, but that became moot after the resignation. I actively sought to have a conversation with the teacher, but never got a response. I wanted conversation, never got it. The narrative that this was a sneaky political attack on an innocent teacher is simply false. Based on information, belief, and personal experience I think there was an opportunity for a change of course, for learning to take place, and for a different outcome. I certainly wanted a different outcome.

        As to integrity, here I stand. I say all this openly, publicly, and under my real name. I am easy to find and always happy to have a rational, adult conversation.

        James A. Weaks
        Hillsborough NC

    • Kim says:

      Setting aside the fact that she violated school/county policy, please give me one example of where this “teacher” exhibited any balance in her lectures. Did she also ask for a comparison between Obama (recall HIS blindly devoted/eerily fanatical audiences back in 2008) and Hitler or draw some analogy between Clinton and, say, Hugo Chavez, both of whom have/had enriched themselves at others’ expense and as politicians, to illustrate ethos or pathos? No. Nothing. It was, instead, all about attacking Trump and foisting her leftist views on her students (and exploiting her position of power in the process). And I, for one, am sick of it.

  2. M. Phillips says:

    In response to the nonsense Garbage just posted: Some people just do not use common sense, and take the time to actually think with the brain God gave them before they start typing…

  3. Ebrun says:

    Great work, Ms. Dillion! This kind of outrageous instruction is occurring far too often in our public schools by teachers and administrators with a partisan political agenda. The threat of exposure should serve as a warning to those who confuse teaching with indoctrination.

  4. Garbage says:

    I can’t believe I even just responded to you. You have your opinion and I have mine, the only difference is that you are one trying to brainwash people by turning things into issues that are really non issues. You are not worth my time and I will not allow myself to stoop to your level. I am rising above because I am not interested in being part of such garbage. I am way to good for such ignorance. Goodbye.

  5. Garbage says:

    Wow, it is sad that we are loosing one of the only true teachers this school has. I value great teachers who actually teach because they come few and far between these days. I raise my children to be able to form their own opinions. Whether you agree with some of the statements or not should not matter, the statements that were made make complete sense based on the lesson that was being taught. I am concerned that my child is attending school with children that are not interested in learning. Bringing relevant topics into the classroom is essential for students to relate and learn. Clearly most of the people that follow you do not believe in their children enough to make their own decisions or to form their own opinions and would rather them be brainwashed at home then actually learn what the real world is like. It is very sad. You all are accusing her of all sorts of things that are just garbage, but the real crazy part is that you are all doing the exact same thing to her. Hypocrisy at its finest!

    • A.P. Dillon says:

      Clearly you did not listen to or read the transcript of the lesson.

      When you do read it, insert Obama or Clinton instead of Trump, then consider your comments here.

      This was not an isolated incident either, but a week long series of similarly themed and skewed lessons which violated both state and local policies on politics in the classroom.

      • Garbage says:

        Haha, actually I did listen to the transcript. The only thing I am getting from all of this is that you are just praying on a teacher for your own personal agenda. I don’t think you are ignorant enough to believe that lesson was about politics. Come on, I hope you are smarter than that. Which is why it doesn’t violate and policies. It was not about politics. Politics were just used as a way to make the kids understand. Based on your last statement I am assuming that you were there for all of those lessons. Is that right?

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        “So, Trump may not be master of many things. He is in fact the master of Pathos. O.K. … he… he is poking the fryers under particular niches of people in this country. People who are anti-Mexican, people who are anti-Muslim, people who are anti-woman.

        Basically the only people who seem to be safe from this guy are white Christian males… am I missing anything? Oh, American — white Christian male Americans.”

        That’s not appropriate.
        Period.

        In addition to this, students told me that she called Trump “stupid” and his supporters are “even more stupid”.
        Keep rationalizing this.

    • Garbage,
      As a parent of a child in this teacher’s classroom and as someone who does not make anonymous comments attacking other parents and teachers, I can tell you that your understanding of this situation is simply in error. I am saddened that it came to this. I would have preferred a different resolution, but this was not acceptable teaching practice. It created a hostile environment for some of her students and it was, in fact, a violation of policy.

      • Definition of hypocrisy says:

        Your child is worse off for not having the integrity to voice his opinion. You taught them to secretly record and run to parents as opposed to using dialogue and civil conversation to voice their opinion. A real opportunity lost. In a country filled with those who cry and complain when they don’t like something, where they look for handouts, where they look for protection from anyone who thinks different or has different ideas so they don’t have they aren’t challenged in any way, where people complain about “micro aggression” and cry about wanting “safe spaces”, you are part of that environment now. The only one who created a hostile environment is you, with your cowardly, backhanded handling of the situation. Then you have the gall to try to build up your ego by saying you don’t post anonymous comments. Clearly irony is lost on you entirely.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        You doth protest too much.

        Especially for someone with no dog in this hunt.

      • Definition of hypocrisy,

        “Your child is worse off for not having the integrity to voice his opinion. You taught them to secretly record and run to parents as opposed to using dialogue and civil conversation to voice their opinion.”

        Nonsense. You have no clue. My child recorded nothing and was never instructed by me to do so. I took actions to try and stop this disaster before it reached the point of termination or resignation.

        “A real opportunity lost. In a country filled with those who cry and complain when they don’t like something, where they look for handouts, where they look for protection from anyone who thinks different or has different ideas so they don’t have they aren’t challenged in any way, where people complain about “micro aggression” and cry about wanting “safe spaces”, you are part of that environment now.”

        Completely false. Again, you have absolutely no clue.

        “The only one who created a hostile environment is you, with your cowardly, backhanded handling of the situation. Then you have the gall to try to build up your ego by saying you don’t post anonymous comments. Clearly irony is lost on you entirely.”

        Again, completely false and malicious. I have done no such things. I repeat from above in case you missed it:

        I have standing in this matter as the parent of a student in one of this teacher’s English classes. I did not call for her to be fired or to resign. Other parents may have, but I never heard it. I know one parent that was going to the School Board meeting to speak up about it, but that became moot after the resignation. I actively sought to have a conversation with the teacher, but never got a response. I wanted conversation, never got it. The narrative that this was a sneaky political attack on an innocent teacher is simply false. Based on information, belief, and personal experience I think there was an opportunity for a change of course, for learning to take place, and for a different outcome. I certainly wanted a different outcome.

        As to integrity, here I stand. I say all this openly, publicly, and under my real name. I am easy to find and always happy to have a rational, adult conversation.

        It is not my desire to personally attack you. I wish you no harm. If I am slandered, I will respond.

        James A. Weaks
        Hillsborough NC

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