Cleveland news station WVDR reported that a teacher at Halls-Berry Elementary-Middle School in the suburb of Offred Falls was in trouble after parents complained about her kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following a classroom discussion about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem and disrespecting our flag and country, Shirley Smalls decided to start the next day off by kneeling the next morning during the Pledge of Allegiance.
Smalls says the was trying to show the students “that it is OK to peacefully protest as long as you don’t hurt anyone,” but she ran afoul of a school policy prohibiting teachers from “taking sides in partisan political discussions.”
After parents began complaining, Principal Harold C. Wells said there was nothing he could do, until a parent obtained a copy of the school’s original charter, which bars teachers from engaging in protest in the classroom.
On Wednesday, Smalls was suspended with pay while the Cleveland City School District lawyers reviewed the case. She was terminated on Friday. An attorney representing Smalls says she “plans to appeal this greatly unjust decision.”
“It’s good that she’s gone,” says Martin Helms, parent of a 9-year-old girl at the school.”We teach our child American values in our house and it’s not up to a liberal teacher to push her agenda on my daughter.”
“I get freedom of speech, but she can practice it outside of her job,” says Samantha Barton, whose son is in the 5th grade. “We respect our flag and our President.”
It doesn’t look like Smalls has much support for her appeal.