NC teacher threatens arrest for students who ‘disrespect’ President Obama [AUDIO]

Melissa Quinn Contributor
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After a debate about presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and President Obama got personal, a teacher at North Rowan High School in Spencer, N.C. warned a student that speaking ill of Obama could lead to his arrest.

On Monday, Rowan-Salisbusy school officials suspended Tanya Dixon-Neely, with pay, for making that comment and others in her social studies class.

The Salisbury Post first reported that Dixon-Neely told the student that he could be jailed for slandering the president, and that several people were arrested for talking negatively about President Bush.

According to Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, no one was ever arrested for speaking poorly of President Bush, and you cannot be arrested for simply disrespecting the president.

“Her point about not being able to say anything ‘disrespectful’ about the president does fly in the face of the First Amendment,” he told the Post.

The student asked about President Obama’s bullying in grade school, and the teacher began defending the president, saying that there is no comparison between Romney, who is running for president, and Obama, the current occupant of the White House.

Because Romney is just running for president, he is not afforded the same respect as Obama, the teacher said, and the class should give President Obama the same respect as others before him have been given. The teacher is still employed with the school district and has not commented on the controversy.

“… you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom,” Dixon-Neely said.

A video taken by a student captures the argument, but neither the teacher nor students can be seen. The Rowan-Salisbury School System released a statement saying that the incident should be used a learning experience.

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