Written on April 22, 2023 Published April 24, 2023 5:00am
On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, an administrator said to me, “I don’t care about your first amendment right! You are an embarrassment to the principal, the high school, and the district. I am trying to save you from – YOU! So, I am telling you – GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.” That was said in front of the principal, an assistant principal and the union representative.
You may ask, “The union representative said nothing?”
Quick answer, “The union representative said nothing.”
This week the state of Texas passed legislation making it legal to display the Ten Commandments.
Texas public schools would be required to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom starting next school year under a bill that was approved by the Texas Senate on Thursday. The legislation, Senate Bill 1515, will now head to the state House for consideration. https://www.foxnews.com/media/texas-advances-bill-requiring-10-commandments-displayed-public-school-classrooms
April 21, 2023, on Facebook, I posted the “search” for this story with only one word from me, “wow.”
That was it. One word, “Wow.”
As of April 22, 2021, 10:21am, there were only four people who responded. Three-of-the-four are teachers. All three teachers disagreed with Texas.
I want to share with you, word-for-word, one exchange between a former colleague and me. I cut & pasted the dialogue. This will explain the title of the article. Also, most of the time, I think it is funny AND interesting to see the direction of a conversation on social media. The tangents are many!
Chet D. – As important as they are to you including the idea they represent the command of a Christian god the mandate to display in front of a captive audience is the wrong thing to do. Would they/should they be displayed with any analysis or critical thought? I’d think the intent of the TX leg is ‘No’. The antithesis of an educational setting.
Paul E. – Always good to hear from you Chet. How’s America doing since June 1962? Seems to be struggling. No? (To better understand our relationship, nine-times-out-of-ten, the only time I hear from my former colleague (Chet) is when he disagrees with me). Since I have your attention. Missed your thoughts on this topic. My guess is you are at peace with this version of history. https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1648166730261229569
Chet D. – there were periods of serious struggle prior to June ‘62 also. Nor am I certain that addresses statements I made.
Paul E. –point being is how has the country done since the Supreme Court decision in 1962 taking prayer out of schools? How has taking down the Ten Commandments helped education / society? Pictures of Angela Davis / Che … Mao … Lenin … in history classrooms. And you would say that’s okay because it’s topic. Flags other than the USA flag are displayed in classrooms / captive audience. I get one day to teach a lesson but an entire school year?! Last point…. You do support states’ rights. Texas has the right to do this.
Chet D. – differences in ‘how the country has done’ have been influenced by significantly more than removing the mandated prayers in school. The fact that prayer is not to be lead, certainly not mandated, by school officials does not mean prayer can not happen. I certainly support states’ rights. It has been upheld that when states are in violation of the U.S. constitution, the US constitution prevails and so in this case I think it will be easily shown that TX is in violation of the establishment clause of the U.S. constitution thus the law will be struck down.
Paul E. – Good to know you support states’ rights.
Chet D. – along those lines, and only somewhat rhetorically because the answer is more important for you to hear the answer than anyone else, do you support the US constitution, particularly the 1st amendment?
Paul E. – absolutely to the point where we support Lieutenant PJ Everts and his willingness to sacrifice his life to defend the US Constitution as his great grandfather was killed in action defending the constitution.
Chet D. – I knew you did. Always enjoy the pics of PJ and his family. (Sincerely appreciate this response from my former colleague!)
The “rhetorical” question, “Do you support the US Constitution, particularly the 1st amendment?” is the catalyst for this article.
In 2023, what seems to be happening is the constitution is a document based on “Moral Relativism.” The folks with power have their thumb on the scales of justice!
When the administrator told me to “get off social media,” he told me that because it was upsetting the students and community.
Let’s be completely honest. At that October 6, 2023 meeting, I was directed to get off social media because of my political views and my love for, Jesus Christ. It would have been one thing to be directed off social media because of my syntax / grammar.
When Chet D. asked me that question, I went back to October 6, 2021, when the person who helped hire me told me, “I don’t care about your first amendment right.” If Chet D. was at that meeting, I wonder if he would have said something to that administrator?
There are too many teachers who are quietly suffering. Too many. They probably feel like Elijah did facing hundreds of false prophets. There will always be more false prophets.
The majority of us know we (conservatives; I will add – Christian, heterosexual male) are facing a “liberal backlash.” Revenge. Retribution.
Instead of progressing, we are regressing.
If we were sincerely progressing,
- the union representative would have defended my first amendment right. She did not. She agreed with the direction.
- the administration at all levels (site / district / county / state / etc.) would have defended my first amendment right. They did not. They wanted a change – either I was going to change and become more like them or the change would be a personnel change.
- on campus, all teachers would be allowed to be who they are or keep who they are out of the classroom! Instead, as the staff / faculty wave at the dude holding the Pride Flag in front of the school, there are Christian faculty / staff members told the lie, “Keep Jesus Christ in the parking lot.” There is NO reason – logical reason – why students would know who are the LGBTQ teachers are and not know who are the Christian teachers / teachers that practice ANY faith and call that progress!
On October 15, 2021, I met with an assistant superintendent. At that meeting, the same union representative sat next to me.
“Paul, we are going to place you on a 45 day probationary status. You need to meet these nine directives. After meeting these nine directives, you will be off probationary status.”
Following around 40 minutes of explaining the process and how we were going to move forward, “Do you have anything to say? Questions to ask?”
I said, “Yes.”
I looked at the union representative and asked her, “Are you taking notes?” The reason for that question is prior to this meeting with the assistant superintendent, I had not seen any of the notes from the previous meeting. Nor, had the union representative and I met to discuss how we would respond.
I looked at the assistant superintendent and said the following, “I love God. Did you (union representative) write that down?”
She said, “Yes.”
“I love my wife, Diana. Did you write that down?”
She said, “Yes.”
“Brad, I am going to retire. Did you write that down?” And then the meeting took off (smile).
We need to know there is a cultural revolution happening. My story is a small example. I encourage other teachers to please share your story.
Since I “retired” (in quotes, because I am blessed to be teaching at two schools (charter & public), I admit – it has been lonely. Lonely because the friends I thought I had were really acquaintances. I misunderstood our relationships. My fault. If we were friends, I would be getting phone calls from them and/or I would be contacting them to get together outside of the job. There is where the loneliness comes.
But, there is nothing more important than defending our nation’s values, principles, and the Truth. NOTHING! Including my loneliness!
Yes, Chet D., I do you support the US constitution, particularly the 1st amendment. To the point where I would “retire” early, leaving tens-of-thousands-of-dollars on the table. If our Naval Officer son is willing to risk his life to defend our constitution, I need to be willing to show my love for that document and trust in Jesus Christ by walking away.
Does walking away from a profession I was in since 1989, seeing friends (well, fellow music teachers) shun me hurt?
The pain hurts now. I have enough confidence in Jesus Christ that the pain will slowly be replaced by His love, His wisdom, His many gifts, and the family and friends He will send my way.
Something to think about: