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Two Wrongs Don’t Make A (First Amendment) Right

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In today’s highly politicized and social-media driven world, it is becoming more and more facile for people to anonymously attack each other and/or be attacked online for their personal political views. Consequently, this can be detrimental to their personal and professional lives, including their jobs, reputations, and relationships. However, in exposing their own personal views, no matter what they may be, most people feel secure in the fact that they are protected by certain rights, such as those specified in the Amendments, particularly the First Amendment. This Amendment mentions several freedoms, including freedom of speech and of the press. Nevertheless, it appears, especially among the unapologetically biased mainstream media, that more and more often these rights are being infringed upon. This is especially true of teachers and administrators across America, particularly conservative ones.

While left-wing teachers around the nation ridicule and berate Donald Trump seemingly without consequence (indeed, they appear to have unrestricted administrative support), conservative teachers are being continually silenced for their vocal support of the nation’s new president. One example of this is computer lab teacher Veronica Flemings, who works at Parkside Elementary School in Naples, Florida. She was apparently “reassigned” to administrative duty after she publicly supported Trump’s immigration policies on Facebook in response to the “Day Without Immigrants” on February 16: “The funny part about immigrants staying home is the rest of us who pay for them are here at work like we’ve always been,” she wrote. “Looks like less mouths to feed today. Have fun while you still can. So glad to hear about massive deportation. Let’s make America great again. Thanks Donald Trump!” The parents of students at Parkside Elementary, of which 96 percent are minorities (70 percent are Latino and 20 percent are Haitian), were extremely offended by this woman’s post and immediately set up a petition calling for her firing (which has 3,000 signatures and counting). Flemings was thought to have posted this comment during school hours when she was teaching children who could be affected by deportation.

Another example is Cheriese Rhode, a first-grade teacher in a Prosser district school in Washington State. Rhodes also wrote in response to the “Day Without Immigrants,” urging citizens to report anyone in the U.S. believed to lack proper documentation to the proper agencies. “This is a great idea, narrows the search down,” the Facebook post read, including a number for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency. “If this offended you in any way do me a favor and unfriend my American (expletive)!!!” continued the post. “This was going viral on my daughter’s SnapChat … TRUMP all the way!!!” Disgusted parents alerted the Prosser School District offices, where 62 percent of students are Hispanic. Rhodes was immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Both these situations are ridiculous examples of the “silencing” of approval for Trump’s policies. What is even more ridiculous is the fact that these parents are offended by these “racist” and “extreme” comments that haven’t mentioned race at all, and are simply stating an opinion. These women are perfectly within their rights to urge the deportation of illegal aliens, not immigrants  who have come to America to be properly vetted. The protesters are attempting to make these women sound as if they are being bigoted and racist and simply want all racial minorities deported, regardless if they are citizens or not, simply to push their own left-wing agenda. Why else would these parents be so adamant about having these teachers fired? Surely they would have nothing to fear, as long as they are not illegal aliens, who by definition are people living without authorization in a country in which they are not a citizen, and who actually should be in fear of deportation.

If America continues down this road of silencing any opposition to opinion, then the rights of all Americans, including future citizens, are in actual danger of being lost. America cannot flourish without immigrants, but it simultaneously cannot support a continual influx of illegal aliens who actually are statistically committing crimes and are not being active beneficial contributors to American society. Instead of rejecting our president, people should be rallying in support for him as our elected leader. It is only together as a unified nation that we can have common respect for one another and actually solve the nation’s pressing issues. We should not be attacking each other, but supporting one another as Americans. As one mother stated in regards to the punishment of teachers for speaking their minds, “Please. This is the type of attitude that squelches any sort of freedom in today’s classrooms. Instead of open conversation at the middle and high school level, they default to disparaging not only the president, but the office of the presidency — and all those who voted Trump in.”

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Two Wrongs Don’t Make A (First Amendment) Right