A Michigan educator says he is out of a job after expressing his political views online.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Justin Kucera claims his school district fired him over a single tweet expressing support for President Donald Trump.
“Done being silent”
Kucera, who had been a social studies teacher, said he was reprimanded after a trio of posts that included a retweet of Trump’s call to reopen schools in the fall.
“I’m done being silent,” he wrote in one tweet, declaring that Trump “is our president” and that “liberals suck,” according to The Detroit News.
The consequences reportedly came quickly. Days later, the Walled Lake Western High School teacher and baseball coach said he was out of a job after passing up an opportunity to resign.
“I was required to meet with [human resources], the superintendent, and my principal [on July 10],” he recalled, according to the Free Beacon. “They initially took my statement on why I tweeted those tweets and they told me they would have a decision about my future employment in the upcoming days. When they completed the meeting, I was told I had the option to either be fired or resign.”
Of course, the school district denies Kucera was fired for expressing political views. An official put out a statement affirming its commitment to “critical thinking” among those in the district.
“Mutual respect and civility”
“These are difficult times in our community and across our country,” Walled Lake Consolidated Schools Director of Community Relations Judy Evola said, according to The Detroit News. “When issues arise, there’s a temptation to view items through the lens of our fractured political discourse. Walled Lake encourages students and staff members to engage each other with mutual respect and civility.”
By all accounts, the 28-year-old teacher was well-liked and did not bring up politics in the workplace, the Free Beacon reported.
While The Detroit News noted that the union told Kucera his tweets could be seen as interfering with the school’s business, he argued that teachers who have criticized Trump have not been punished.
That might not be a huge surprise given the fact that the nation’s biggest teachers’ unions support Joe Biden — and unions are generally opposed to the president’s position on reopening schools.
Kucera has since declared that he is “not sorry” for supporting Trump and that all Americans should “want the president to do well.” It is a sign of the times that such a proclamation is considered controversial.