Friday, March 17, 2006

Support peace lose your job.

Deb Mayer had been a teacher for 22 years. But she lost her job for mentioning peace in her class. As part of classroom instruction she used a version of Time magazine for children. It had an article on Iraq. A student asked her if she had ever gone to a peace demonstration. She said she had not but that she had driven by one where demonstrators held signs for cars saying "Honk, if you want peace." She admitted she honked the car's horn.

That comment ended her career. One student told her father. Her father was idignant. He never wanted the word peace mentioned in class. He told the school that he is teaching his daughter the fuhrer principle although he probably doesn't know that term. But he said he was teaching his daughter to "support the president" and that having her different views "was confusing her". Mayer said the father was beligerent and rude and kept pushing his finger into her face. "He asked me what I would if I had a child in the service. I said, 'I do.'" Her son was on his way to fight in Afghanistan at the time. He was accusing me of being unpatriotic. I said, 'My sone and I believe you can be for peace and be patriotic.' That made him furus."

Every year the school had celebrate Peace Month, where they talked about how to resolve conflicts through peaceful mediation. After the parent's protest it was cancelled.

Mayer has spent most of her life's savings to fight for her job. She was dismissed because of the father's protest. Her case is only scheduled to come up in July.