Yesterday Ellis Conklin posted about Lynnwood High School social studies teacher Sharon Kriskovich, the educator at the center of a dustup over the place of politics in the classroom, and perhaps a hypersensitivity to it. Kriskovich says she was told by the teachers union to remove the political signage in her classroom - a practice she's kept for years, and in which signs old and new, and from across the political party spectrum, are on display.
For its part, the Washington Education Association teachers union tells Seattle Weekly it's all a big miscommunication.
As the post notes:
Out of the blue, Kriskovich said she was informed by e-mail -- sent to her by her own union, the Washington Education Association -- that she needed to get rid of the signs because state law prohibits public employees from campaigning and that some teachers had received personal fines for having political signs in their classrooms.
"It's ridiculous," Kriskovich fumed yesterday when we reached her at Lynnwood High. "I've been told I can't display the signs on the walls, but it's OK if I wear an Obama T-Shirt or a Romney button. None of this makes any sense.".
Kriskovich added that the school administration has no problem with the signs, nor has the school district ever found it troubling.
WEA's communications director Linda Mullen said no one within the teacher's union has instructed Kriskovich to remove the signs from her class. All the WEA did, Mullen stressed, is what it does every campaign season -- that being, explaining the do's and don't's. And one of those don't's is that public employees, such as teachers, "not use public resources to campaign."
As it has everywhere, the story inspired some conversation in The Daily Weekly comment section:
She can work around the lack of political signage. Just teach them about political campaigns from the past and present, with the operative word being "teach"
Meanwhile, maryklindquist writes:
Tempest in a teapot! Most high school social studies teachers all across the nation "decorate" their rooms this way. Nothing illegal, wrong or inappropriate about it. This has got to be a misunderstanding.