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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