Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Patricia McAllister Fired by LAUSD: Anti-Semitic Teacher Caught on Tape at 'Occupy L.A.' Protest

McAllister, in a local TV interview, discusses her termination at the video. She's holding a sign that reads, "Congress Should Print the Money, NOT the Zionist Jews":

McAllister was fired by LAUSD after her anti-Semitic statements went viral over the weekend on YouTube. Reason's Tim Cavanaugh, who interviewed her, has responded with his own commentary --- and it's not very compelling, frankly, considering Reason's reputation as the premiere libertarian magazine: "Reason Guilty of Anti-ANTI-Semitism: Sub Teacher Fired." Go read it all. Cavanaugh attempts to split the difference between being a parent and being a journalist, and he fails badly.

And more failure from the editors at Los Angeles Times, who applaud the district's decision: "Free speech — Within Limits." It's a horrible editorial. The woman's entitled to her opinions, no matter how sick, and the Times offers the slipperiest of slopes to defend her termination:
As a teacher, McAllister works with a captive audience of vulnerable children. Her comments certainly raise questions about her ability to treat them all equally and fairly. What's more, even if she's been the soul of discretion on the job, as well as kind and evenhanded with all her students, by making herself a public symbol of intolerance, McAllister no longer can serve effectively as a teacher.

For one thing, Jewish students likely would feel intimidated in her classes, no matter how nicely she treated them; their parents and many others might storm the principals' offices demanding her removal. Other students and parents might rally to her cause, or, alternately, they too might feel threatened by her bigoted positions. She would be a disruptive element on campus, and her future effectiveness as a teacher would almost certainly be compromised. (After she was fired, McAllister expanded on her views in an interview with Fox TV: "The word Jew is similar to communism today … Jews have been run out of 109 countries through history and we need to run them out of this one.")

As execrable as her comments were, it might be a different matter if McAllister were, say, a Department of Motor Vehicles clerk. There, she would be dealing with adults who could hold their own, and would have little direct authority over them. It also might be different if she had expressed a controversial opinion that was not an inflammatory attack on a particular ethnic or religious group.

We're reluctant to restrict anyone's ability to express even the most loathsome views openly and publicly. But when a teacher trumpets hateful opinions that could intimidate the impressionable young people she's supposed to be serving, that's not just free speech — it's a performance issue. In speaking out so intemperately, McAllister's ability to do her job was fatally compromised.
I find McAllister's comments reprehensible. But as one who's been the subject of a three-year campaign attempting to get me fired, I have serious issues with concern trolling bullshit like this. Watch the video above. Toward the end the news clip, the district's statement flashes on screen:
As Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), I want to emphasize that we condemn the remarks made recently by Patricia McAllister.

Her comments, made during non-work time at a recent protest rally, were her private opinions and were not made in the context of District services. At LAUSD, we recognize that the law is very protective of the freedom of speech rights of public employees when they are speaking as private citizens during non-working time.

I further emphasize to our students, who watch us and look to us for guidance, to be role models and to represent the ideals by which LAUSD lives, that we will never stand for behavior that is disrespectful, intolerant or discriminatory.

As a day-to-day substitute teacher, Ms. McAllister was an at-will employee. As of today, she is no longer an employee of the LAUSD.
Notice that? The district states a principle, yet abandons it because the teacher is untenured. Thus, being tenured creates rights that are denied to individuals not similarly situated. Ugly or not, the woman was stating her opinion, a political opinion, at a political rally while acting in private capacity. The district's decision reaches into the realm of personal space. And it should not. This is tyranny. They fired her because they could, not because it was right. And there's so much more going on there: McAllister taught small children, so perhaps parents would have been upset, as the Times suggests. Fine. Let the parents pull their kids out of class. Or better yet, let them pull their students out of the school altogether. McAllister's comments are not an aberration. That kind of progressive anti-Semitism is inherent to radical left-wing ideology. And people just like McAllister are like grotesque malignancies growing all through public education in the United States. LAUSD burned off a cancerous growth but they didn't cure the disease. The solution to offensive speech is more speech. Let more McAllisters bloom and Americans will soon be taking a closer look at the public schools, and they won't like what they see. Note how McAllister is not misspeaking when she spouts her hatred. It would have come out on the job, sooner or later. And if the kids in her charge are young and vulnerable, transfer her into the higher grades. If students are offended they'll know without having to be force-fed outrage. They can complain fair and square and the school would have been on solid ground in terminating her for racist, discriminatory speech in the classroom, prohibited by statutory regulation.

And here's this from Gary, at the comments at Libertarian Republican:
Big Brother keeps marching.

Your employer will not allow freedom of speech on your own time and away from your place of employment.

You got it.


william goldsmith, m.d. said...

Didn't she have the common sense to keep her mouth shut to a reporter? She's stupid.

william goldsmith, m.d. said...

She's stupid.