August 28, 2005

Detestable letter, but still a violation ...

... of her First Amendment rights:

A Florida teacher was recently suspended for exercising her constitutional rights. She wrote to her representative about the burden illegal aliens place on America, and the school board suspended her.

Dear Honorable Congressman,

Please consider my views when you are voting and representing voters. I believe we must close the doors to all foreigners for awhile (sic) until we get this economy and the schools back on their feet. As a classroom teacher in Florida for 28 years, I know that foreigners are the largest users of our taxpayers’ money. Foreigners are taking all of the jobs that poor and little-educated Americans could have. Many people are being paid under the table, and therefore they are not paying their fair share of taxes. Schools are dealing with too many problems with language differences, and time is lost to our American children who have parents who pay taxes. I’m seeing money going to local charities going to Mexican, Haitian, and Mid-Eastern immigrants instead of to the poorer people of American descent. (The whole letter is here.)

Unlike the case of radio talk show guy Michael Graham, this is a clear breach of 1st Amendment protections. The teacher, Jan Hall, is a government employee and wrote to a representative of government. As Civil Commotion says (though I don't agree with him about many other points), "If a letter to your congressman isn’t protected speech, then there’s no such thing."

Usually, both the Right and Left are hypocrites in cases like this, but overall the Right is more consistent in free speech advocacy. For example, in the case of Ward Churchill, many on the Right thought that in no way should he be fired for mere speech. In contrast, American universities, which are in large measure run by those on the left, attempt to impose "speech codes" and "free speech zones," all the while clamoring about "academic freedom." Just check out such fevered responses to Hall's letter here, here, and here.

Posted by Felix at August 28, 2005 01:50 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Bravo for mentioning speech codes. Even more disgraceful is the refusal of conservative law professors, many on the internet, to challenge such odious affronts to civil rights.

Posted by: mikem at August 28, 2005 09:02 PM

I agree, Felix, this is an outrage. Any word on how the school board even got hold of this letter?

Posted by: Al Mascitti at September 2, 2005 12:14 PM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?