This is truly a conundrum. Gay tolerance posters? While there are few more gay-tolerant than I, this seems a bit excessive to me--even in the SF Bay area! Why should we single out gays for tolerance? Are there no other groups that might merit tolerance but gay students--and in the SF Bay Area, no less??!! This Board policy strikes me as promoting a specific agenda that is so narrowly tailored that it's designed to cause problems. No one can argue with "tolerance" and "anti-bullying", but the devil is certainly in the details. "Tolerance" means to "tolerate", not welcome or condone or celebrate. I tolerate liberals :-)While I thought the Board's required posters were wrong in spirit, I recognized the authority of the Board to require that they be posted. Likewise, while I agree with this teacher's views, I also agree that the school/district can compel him to remove his posters:
Why the Board didn't commission a poster with the symbols of several different (harrassed) groups, with a message of tolerance? Why couldn't there be a pink triangle, a Star of David, a picture of a punker or goth, etc on a poster of tolerance? Focusing on a controversial 1.5%-6% (reasonable studies, not Kinsey's 10%) of the population just seems to me to be a Board that's either listening to a loud minority or is trying to show its liberal bona fides--and neither is fitting for an elected body in this country.
Johnson has long displayed large banners in his classroom in Rancho Penasquitos that read: "In God We Trust,'' "One Nation Under God,'' and "All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator.''They shouldn't require that he take them down, but they can require it.
In its decision, the appeals court cited previous U.S. Supreme Court cases when it ruled that the school district has the right to limit speech of public employees in the workplace and acted lawfully when it told Johnson to remove the banners.
"Just as the Constitution would not protect Johnson were he to decide that he no longer wished to teach math at all, preferring to discuss Shakespeare rather than Newton, it does not permit him to speak as freely at work in his role as teacher about his views on God, our nation's history, or God's role in our nation's history as he might on a sidewalk, in a park, at his dinner table, or in countless other locations," wrote Judge Richard Tallman.
Snark: I have no doubt they would not require teachers to take down Che Guevara posters.