Kentucky teacher in trouble for politically-charged message on white board

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A high school teacher in London, Kentucky violated district policy when she wrote a politically-charged statement on the white board in her classroom shortly after the 2012 presidential election, a local newspaper has reported.

The statement read, “You can’t be a Democrat & go to Heaven,” according to the Sentinel-Echo.

Superintendent Doug Bennett explained that a student first uttered the statement as part of class discussion at South Laurel High School. The teacher, Kendra Baker, then wrote it on the white board.

“She wrote it on her own, and she wanted to write it on the board,” Bennett said, according to the Sentinel-Echo. “She realized it was inappropriate.”

The statement was not a part of any course curriculum or lesson plan.

An unidentified student in Baker’s classroom snapped a photo of the statement on the white board. The student then gave the photo to the Sentinel-Echo as well as the Laurel County Board of Education.

Since the incident was first reported, Baker’s actions have been a popular topic of local conversation, particularly via social media.

Baker teaches courses in world history, U.S. history, civics and other similar subjects. She is a 17-year veteran high school teacher who has taught at South Laurel High School for nine years.

The specific district policy which Baker was found to have violated is policy No. 8.1353, the Sentinel-Echo reports. The Student Code of Conduct states that teachers must maintain a classroom atmosphere conductive to learning, with mutual respect and trust. Teachers in the district should also be models of responsible citizenry, according to the policy.

Bennett said that part of Baker’s punishment was a required apology to her students. The apology has reportedly already been given.

“The teacher made a mistake, and I believe the teacher regrets that,” Bennett said, according to the Sentinel-Echo. “Our objective is to teach the established curriculum.”

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