A high school teacher is fired…up.
Last fall, Massachusetts football coach David Flynn’s daughter was given a world geography assignment.
Her mission: analyze a cartoon.
As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, the image “depicted police officers as a ‘risk’ to a black pedestrian.”
David and his wife didn’t care for it, and they hadn’t been notified of world history curriculum updates dealing with race, bias, and politics.
The way the couple saw it, such subjects were “unrelated” and “not suitable for twelve- and thirteen-year-olds.”
That was made clear recently, as they’re suing the school system.
After learning about the assignment, the pair exchanged emails and met with the superintendent and school committee members.
They didn’t believe the class was being taught objectively — teacher Kim Randall’s online class avatar featured a Black Lives Matter shirt, and class materials purportedly portrayed cops as risks to black Americans, who were risks to white Americans.
The parents eventually decided Dedham High wasn’t going to address their issues. Hence, in October, they enrolled their two children into Catholic school.
Nevertheless, the episode continued — in January, principal Jim Forrest, school district superintendent Michael Welch, and athletic director Stephen Traister had a sit-down and dropped a bomb: They wouldn’t be renewing Flynn’s contract.
He’d coached football there for 18 years, becoming head coach in 2011. And he claims he’d “never been provided any indication” he’d be let go.
Back to the Beacon:
Flynn sued Welch, Forrest, and Traister for firing him in retaliation and violating his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. According to the suit, he expressed his opposition to the district in his personal capacity as a parent and not as the district’s high school football coach.
The former coach is seeking damages for the emotional distress, loss of pay, and harassment caused by his firing.
The same month as his dismissal, Dedham Public Schools hired diversity and inclusion officer Oneida Fox Roye — a former Boston Public Schools staffer who’d beefed up that K-12 program to include “culturally and linguistically diverse” reading assignments.
In December, she had this to tweet:
“When people say that they don’t have a racist bone in their body, they’re usually saying that they’re not racist. Yet, there is no way that you inherit privilege from birth, learn history in our schools, work in our country, watch television & films, and not be racist. #BIPOC #DEI”
When people say that they don't have a racist bone in their body, they’re usually saying that they’re not racist. Yet, there is no way that you inherit privilege from birth, learn history in our schools, work in our country, watch television & films, and not be racist.#BIPOC #DEI
— Dr. Oneida Fox Roye (@OFoxRoye) December 19, 2020
BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color
DEI = Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
That same month, according to TWFB, “She said that history education in the United States is one of a handful of factors that contribute to racism.”
David’s firing saw a backlash — hundreds of Dedham High parents and residents rallied as a “Save Coach Flynn” Facebook group demanded officials “right their injustice and reinstate Flynn as head coach.”
From a collective letter of protest:
A parent’s voice was silenced and the athletes and community at large is [sic] also being punished. And to add to his injustice, the administration chose very specific language to discredit Dave Flynn’s good name, strong reputation, and possibly his career as a special needs teacher. This defamation is unforgivable.
Public education is certainly transitioning, and part of that process is the adoption of social and political perspective.
At Marysville, Washington’s Grover Elementary School, 7-year-olds were recently given a lesson in law enforcement.
Also in October, there was this:
Back to David, several demonstrations have been held since his firing.
As stated by the suit — filed by Judicial Watch Monday — the coach was canned because he “expressed significant philosophical differences.”
Superintendent Michael can confirm: As quoted by Needham, Massachusetts ABC affiliate WCVB, the school let Flynn fly “due to significant, repeatedly expressed, philosophical differences with the direction, goals, and values of the school district.”
Former player Kevin O’Leary told the station, “Coach Flynn is an awesome guy, and…we’re all devastated that they fired him. Ya know, Coach Flynn and Dedham football? It’s like broccoli and cheese sauce — ya can’t have one without the other.”
Well, ya can. It’s just — in the case of broccoli — grosser.
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