California teachers on leave for mocking ‘Day Without Immigrant’ students

February 20, 2017

Five teachers and a counselor at a Southern California high school took to Facebook last week to express their immense satisfaction with the “Day Without Immigrants.” The teachers stated that, for a day, they did not have to deal with failing and disruptive students. [Washington Post]

The comments triggered immediate backlash, and the school district placed all six employees on administrative leave. On the following day, dozens of students walked out of school early to protest the teachers’ remarks.

During last week’s protest against President Donald Trump and his immigration policies, numerous students were absent from Rubidoux High School in Riverside County. The campus is part of the Jurupa Unified School District, which is predominantly Latino.

Geoffrey Greer, a social science teacher at Rubidoux High, commented on the student absences in a widely circulated Facebook post.

“Having my class size reduced by 50 percent all day long only served to support Trump’s initiatives and prove how much better things might be without all this overcrowding,” Greer wrote. “That’s what you get when you jump on some sort of bandwagon cause as an excuse to be lazy and/or get drunk. Best school day ever.”

Other teachers replied by saying, it “was a very pleasant day;” “mostly failing students were missing;” and classes were less disruptive and more productive.

Guidance coordinator Patricia Crawford said the school cafeteria was much cleaner, the roads had less traffic and there were no discipline issues.

“More please,” Crawford wrote.

The school district responded on Friday with a state announcing the six employees had been placed on administrative leave and that the social media posts did not reflect the school district’s opinions or beliefs.

“We want to express that we are deeply concerned and distressed about the postings,” the statement said.

Greer has since issued an apology in which he acknowledged he “infuriated a great many people.”

“While I stand by my assertion that skipping school is no way to demonstrate one’s value to society, I do apologize for the harsh tone and hurtful structure of the previous message,” Greer wrote. “I hadn’t meant for it to come across as quite so scathing.”

The school district is conducting an investigation into the online comments surrounding the “Day Without Immigrants.”


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SLOinsight

Hopefully the NLRB takes notice and sues the school district(s) involved – this is protected activity.


Freethebud

Doesn’t seem like the teachers were out of line to me. Seems like everyone is looking to be offended these days and it all gets overblown. Same as the photos of the local firefighters. I see a guy pointing at a lady, not necessarily at her breast. And Halloween party photos, really? It’s Halloween give me a break. People are so easily offended theses days. Can we all try and relax just a little bit maybe.


circlingthedrain

Because you think you have free speech–but oh believe me–you don’t.


SLOnative

A lot of school districts lost State money based on the average daily attendance. The good news? The State of California got to keep that money.


SLOBIRD

I have a couple of friends and a family member in the education system and they would confirm these comments. First, most of them don’t understand the language and then dealing with the parents becomes a nightmare. I guess the $4 Billion the illegals are costing us a year does not have a lot of rewards for the taxpayers/


Anyone been into Target lately? I was in their last week with a friend (I won’t do business there) who brought a Birthday toy, It sounded like a foreign Country and I think it is discussing when staff are standing around talking a foreign language to each other. They are in America, taking American jobs so talk the damn language!


OldNed

All the things you mention are very real problems but ridiculing students for expressing their views, even if you doubt their sincerity, doesn’t seem like a productive way of expressing frustration with budget cuts, overcrowding, or lack of parental involvement. And disagreement with a high protest doesn’t seem like a very sound basis for an adult to make decisions about the soundness of the president’s policies.


lakerhater

Ok, where was the ridicule? And where was the disagreement? You see what you want to see.


OldNed

Calling students who were missing class to protest lazy and/or drunk wasn’t ridiculing them? And claiming protests is going so support Trump isn’t disagreeing with them? That seems like less less of what I wanted to see and more of what he was actually saying.


Slosum

So it seems like it’s ok for kids to go truant and diss our president and the country that takes care of them… but not support the teachers who we pay to educate them…. and in the case of the ILLEGAL immigrants…. for FREE. This ungratefulness must not be tolerated… since “tolerance” seems to be their big issue. Enough.


Mitch C

What happened to these teachers’ First Amendment rights? Is freedom of speech reserved only to those left wing individuals whose beliefs condone illegal acts.


shelworth

Well, it’s California, so your answer is yes.


lakerhater

Sounds like these teachers are just fed up with the conditions in public schools. Overcrowding, budget cuts, and lack of parental involvement/discipline is an unfortunate occurrence in many public school districts.