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Posted: 10/4/2004 5:44:55 AM EST
Teacher defends pic of president


Published in the Home News Tribune 10/03/04
By JERRY BARCA
and DINA GUIRGUIS
STAFF WRITERS
SOUTH BRUNSWICK: A middle school teacher walked out on her job after being asked to remove a picture of the president from her classroom, she said.

Though she says he has not resigned, the teacher's situation at Crossroads Middle School South is not yet resolved.

Shiba Pillai-Diaz's walkout involved the local police, left school officials mum and appalled the local Republican Party.

Pillai-Diaz, 33, a volunteer with the Bush campaign and an English teacher, has had a publicity picture of the First Couple hanging in her classroom since the start of the school year, she said.

The photo became an issue last week.

Parents e-mailed an assistant principal accusing Pillai-Diaz of suppressing free speech because the teacher refused to talk to pupils about why the color photo hung in the room.

"Students said, 'You like George Bush? He's killed people,' " Pillai-Diaz said. "As a rule I don't talk about my politics in the classroom."

According to Pillai-Diaz, Assistant Principal Mark Daniels said he had no problem with the photo, which hung next to posters of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. But Daniels told the teacher she should address questions that arose because of the photo.

"He wasn't giving me the power to direct conversation in my classroom," said Pillai-Diaz, who regarded the picture just as an image of the current president.

Thursday, at back-to-school night, the controversy exploded after a parent asked why the picture was up, Pillai-Diaz said.

"The way she asked was a political assault," the teacher said.

Then the parents started their own debate about the picture, and one mother stormed out of the classroom, Pillai-Diaz said.

Friday morning, the teacher, who is in her sixth year of teaching and her first in South Brunswick, was called into the assistant principal's office. Daniels told her to remove the picture, Pillai-Diaz said.

"He said, 'If you care about your job, you'll take the picture down,' " she said.

Pillai-Diaz told the assistant principal to take the picture down himself. Then she sought Principal Jim Warfel, who gave her an upbraiding.

"He said, 'You've caused more disruption, hatred and anger than anyone I've ever known,' " she said.

The teacher said the principal told her to "get out," so she left and headed to the South Brunswick Police Department.

An officer accompanied Pillai-Diaz back to the school because she said she feared for her safety when she went to collect her belongings, police said.

Once Pillai-Diaz felt safe at the school the officer left, police said.

In the school, Pillai-Diaz had a two-hour meeting with Superintendent Gary McCartney and a representative from the teachers' union. Both parties told the teacher she would lose any fight she would try to start about the picture, Pillai-Diaz said.

"They weren't interested in the substance of the issue," she said.

The superintendent said no one has resigned, been fired or suspended. McCartney would not discuss the incident, calling it a personnel matter.

When reached Friday night, Sylvia Lee, president of the teachers' union, said no teacher had been fired and she didn't know about the incident. Lee did not return multiple telephone messages left for her yesterday.

Board of Education President Robert Long declined to comment on the incident, calling it a personnel matter.

He did say he could not find any district policy addressing the presence of pictures of presidents in classrooms. He said it would be too early to tell whether the incident merited a policy change.

"We don't want to develop a policy for something that is not needed," Long said. "Whatever the facts may be, it is something we will certainly take a look at if needed."

Democrats dominate South Brunswick's government, holding the Mayor's Office and three of the four council seats.

Of the 40,000 people living in the township, about 5,000 are registered Republicans. Registered Democrats outnumber them by a 3-to-2 margin, said local Republican officials.

"It's horrible that a teacher was asked to take down a picture of the president of the United States," said Dawn Smith, chair of the local Republican Committee. "It's unconscionable."

Smith said she would expect the same procedures to apply whether it was President Bush or former President Clinton.

"When did we stop honoring our country's leaders?" Smith asked.

Pillai Diaz said the only way school officials may have known she was a Republican is because she could not attend a meeting with teachers on the day she volunteered at the Republican National Convention in New York.

"I never once said 'I am a Republican' or 'I support the president,' " Pillai-Diaz said.

Pillai-Diaz turned in the keys to her classroom on Friday. She packed up the picture and her classroom decorations, taking them with her when she left. She is unsure about her future employment, but said she is supposed to speak with district officials about it tomorrow.

"My ultimate goal is to teach," she said.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 5:49:17 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 5:50:42 AM EST
That's just AFU.

I don't think this country has been this divided since 1860.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 5:55:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 5:55:33 AM EST by Palo_Duro]
Crossroads Middle School is teh suck.

I wonder if they'd get upset over pictures of the SCOTUS, Congress, or any other elected official(s).

The whacked out Dems are really losing control this year.

Link Posted: 10/4/2004 5:56:05 AM EST
If she will just replace the picture of the President with one of Che Guevara, Castro, ect… everything will be fine.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 5:58:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
damn...that's an odd one. i thought all classrooms had a pic of the prez in them.



Not when he is a Republican.

Go read through the NEA website and you will see firsthand the lieberal leanings taught in the classroom today.

Hell, I will bet somewhere there is still a picture/shrine to Slick Willie in a classroom. But GW will never be honored in any way by the "learned" left.


Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:00:03 AM EST
She should get the ACLU and ue them..
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:04:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
damn...that's an odd one. i thought all classrooms had a pic of the prez in them.



+1

There is a picture of President Bush in my 3rd and 1st grader's classrooms. I saw them there during the 'Open House' nights.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:04:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:06:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By CavVet:

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
damn...that's an odd one. i thought all classrooms had a pic of the prez in them.



Not when he is a Republican.

Go read through the NEA website and you will see firsthand the lieberal leanings taught in the classroom today.

Hell, I will bet somewhere there is still a picture/shrine to Slick Willie in a classroom. But GW will never be honored in any way by the "learned" left.





My kids elementary school has a picture of GWB in the office. Of course, I live in a very conservative part of Kalifornia.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:06:39 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:09:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By poppinsexz:
She should get the ACLU and ue them..


Your forgetting something, she's not a liberal on welfare.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:15:27 AM EST
if anything the parents should be happy with her as it says she wouldn't discuss politics with the kids
she was being fair and balanced and not trying to brainwash the kids (unlike many liberal teachers)
and since when is a pic of the President a bad thing at a PUBLIC (aka gov't) school? it's as bad as fuckers getting upset at seeing US flags flying in the US
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:20:29 AM EST
Remember, free expression / free speech is only for the lib's.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:28:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 6:39:44 AM EST by r1tual]
The principal should be punished by the dept of education. He/She should be fired.

It is a picture of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

And it is mandatory school curriculum to learn about American History past and present. Which includes learning who and what the President does.

This pisses me off. I remember the same thing happening in my high school. One teacher couldnt put up pictures of famous people like past presidents and other war generals or whatever "history people". Didnt know why. and I remember the teacher being pissed about it. She said she had them for years, and then all of a sudden she coudlnt put them up.

I think it might have to do with the racial diversity. Some people could get offended. Like maybe German people. Or Iraqi people. This is still the United States though. And President Bush has the power to declare war. And he is privelaged to our nations intelligence. I think if you dont agree with that they should of wrote tot heir congressman or started a campaign and not abusing powers in the school they run.

Hope the principal gets fired. And I hope the parents get talked to about causing upheavel on school grounds. Its our President after all. And the President is mandatory to be taught in school. So says the Department of Education.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:32:02 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:34:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 6:47:00 AM EST by mac130]
After spending the last 17 years of my life overseas protecting this country, this has really pissed me off. Someone just send me an e-mail or IM when the shooting is about to start. I'll be there.

Edited for spelling, sorry just to pissed to type.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:37:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By mac130:
After spending the last 17 years of my life overseas protecting this country, this has really pissed me off. Someone just send me an e-mail or IM when the shooting is about to shoot. I'll be there.



I've never served and this pisses me off. I can't imagine what you're feeling.

Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:37:38 AM EST
South Brunswick Township Public Schools
Administrative Offices
4 Executive Drive
P. O. Box 181
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852

Telephone: 732.297.7800 Fax: 732.422.8054



CROSSROADS SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL
195 Major Road
Monmouth Junction, N. J. 08852
732-329-4633

Dr. James Warfel, Principal
jwarfel@sbschools.org
Raymond Tucholski, Assistant Principal
atucholski@sbschools.org
Mark Daniels, Assistant Principal
mddaniels@sbschools.org
Sondra Hinson, Assistant Principal
shinson@sbschools.org

Be polite, kids....
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:44:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:
"Students said, 'You like George Bush? He's killed people,' "



No, that was Fat Teddy.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:45:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
damn...that's an odd one. i thought all classrooms had a pic of the prez in them.



Not for a long time now.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:48:01 AM EST
what a bunch of bullshit.... so in the history classroom when they put up a poster of all the presidents mug shots and their terms of service, should they just cut Bush out? I don't get it.


This is the problem with public schools. Parents are as bad as the kids that go there.



As I was, my children (that I yet to have had) will go to private schools where they don't have to deal with this PC bullshit!
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:49:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By Malpaso:

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:
"Students said, 'You like George Bush? He's killed people,' "



No, that was Fat Teddy.



And John Kerry, kids, in the back, while running away...
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:50:40 AM EST

In the school, Pillai-Diaz had a two-hour meeting with Superintendent Gary McCartney and a representative from the teachers' union. Both parties told the teacher she would lose any fight she would try to start about the picture, Pillai-Diaz said.


So much for the power of the NJEA........God I need to get out of this state!

abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/WABC_100304_middleschoolteacher.html


School officials would not talk on camera but insist nobody here has been fired. To that, Ms. Pillai-Diaz asks what does it mean then when your boss asks you to hand over the keys and kicks you out of the building? She also says she is not sure if she'll be returning to school tomorrow.


Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:51:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By michaelj1978:
what a bunch of bullshit.... so in the history classroom when they put up a poster of all the presidents mug shots and their terms of service, should they just cut Bush out? I don't get it.


This is the problem with public schools. Parents are as bad as the kids that go there.



As I was, my children (that I yet to have had) will go to private schools where they don't have to deal with this PC bullshit!



PC bullshit and social engineering is exactly why my wife and I homeschool. My kids are ahead of their peers in every subject because they are actually given an education, not indoctrinated with "Heather has Two Mommies" or "Let's be diverse." My house is diverse by default. Me and my brown son and my wife, my white daughter and my white son.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:54:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By r1tual:
And President Bush has the power to declare war.



That right is reserved by the congress
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:12:34 AM EST
Shouldn't a pciture of the current President be right next to the American flag in EVERY Classroom?????
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:27:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By darwindog:
Shouldn't a pciture of the current President be right next to the American flag in EVERY Classroom?????



UMMMMMMM......yes
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:37:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 8:38:23 AM EST by Lazyshooter]
She should put a small pic/painting of every President up, then see what they say. If they still tell her to take it down, those administrators who told her to take it down are really screwed up. Perhaps a pic of Lenin is the only picture that would be allowed.
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