A South Carolina teacher has reportedly become the most recent public educator to come under fire fore bringing politics into the classroom. According to WLTX, Laurie Humphrey has been temporarily removed from her position at a Dutch Fork high school pending an investigation over a sign reading “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Democrats” that she hung near her desk.
“We’re still investigating the issue we want to make sure we have all sides and make sure we don’t make any decisions in haste,” Mark Bounds, a spokesman for the school district, commented. “Our Human Resource department is looking at the situation and making sure the students are taken care of and that we’re fair to the teacher.”
However, in the tense weeks before the general election, the school seemingly made it very clear what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
The Huffington Post relates part of the school rules:
The board opposes those actions that transform the schools into arenas for political activity. Activities that substantially disrupt or materially interfere with school activities are prohibited. Prohibited activities include the distribution of any cards, fliers, pamphlets, brochures, signs, pins, badges or any other political paraphernalia espousing any political party or candidate at any time on any district property during regular school hours.
WLTX has more:
Humphrey teaches social studies and this is the first disciplinary action she has received in her fifteen years of teaching, according to The State. She has been at the Lexington-Richland 5 school district for 11 of those years.
Though Bounds added that “this was an example of extremely poor judgment on her part” and “in clear violation” of the school’s directives, there is apparently some question over whether or not the sign was part of a larger lesson on political campaigns.
However, this would hardly be the first time politics have seeped into the classroom. Earlier this month a Richmond teacher reportedly likened a student’s clothing to KKK apparel, and who can forget North Carolina’s Tonya Dixon-Neely, who told a boy he could be “arrested” for speaking badly about Obama? The “Mmm mmm mmm Barack Hussein Obama” children’s song has become something of a Republican catchphrase, and a new pro-Obama ad features children singing about what they consider to be Romney’s America, where “sick people just die” and “oil fills the sea” (though that technically didn’t happen in a classroom).
Bounds was unable to say whether Humphrey is being paid during the investigation, but remarked: “Being a teacher doesn’t take away your rights as a citizen. So, after hours on your own time we encourage teachers, we want them to be politically active, but they shouldn’t do it in a way that makes any student feel uncomfortable.”