There are a few things, which any logical person should know, that are not appropriate for teachers to mention to their middle school students. Sharing their partisan political beliefs is one of them. Speaking as if their own religion is superior is another. Informing the kids that their parents aren’t Christian if they support President Obama is a third. Sadly, a Georgia teacher hit the trifecta, but the insanity of this story didn’t stop there.
TEACHER SAYS OBAMA NOT A CHRISTIAN
Nancy Price Perry is a teacher at the Dublin Middle School in Dublin, a small Georgia town of about 16,000 people. We’ll point out that Dublin is in Laurens County, where Mitt Romney beat President Obama by nearly 23 points in the 2012 election. Which is why the following isn’t that surprising.
While speaking to a classroom of middle school children, Perry began disparaging President Obama and even went as far to say that the President was lying about being a Christian. She then informed the kids that their parents, if they supported President Obama, were not Christians either. After this bit of insanity, she’d even challenge the children to prove their Christianity.
Showcasing an unprecedented amount of gall, the teacher didn’t seem to worry that these words would get back to the parents. It quickly became obvious why.
When a 13-year-old boy reported to his father what the teacher had said in class, the parent asked for an immediate conference with the teacher, but that conference wasn’t granted until several days later. When the boy’s parents showed up, their conference included themselves, a school representative, the teacher, and Dublin School Board member Bill Perry.
Hold on a sec. Bill Perry? What was the teacher’s name? Nancy Price Perry? Oh, because they’re married. That’s right: in a show of intimidation, Bill Perry, who hosted a radio show where he spoke of religion and just how bad gay marriage is, inserted himself into the parent-teacher conference about his wife’s inappropriate comments.
TEACHER NANCY PERRY DOUBLES DOWN
Okay, let’s not jump to conclusions. Maybe the former right-wing radio host wasn’t there to intimidate the parents. Maybe he was there to figure out exactly what happened. Maybe the parents’ concerns would be acknowledged and an apology from Mrs. Perry would be forthcoming. Well, that’s not what happened. The NAACP wrote a letter to the Courier Herald in Dublin expressing what happened in the meeting:
“The parents were expecting that the teacher would hear their concerns, acknowledge the inappropriateness of her behavior in the classroom setting and show remorse for her conduct. She did none of the above. Instead, she presented to the parents a packet of several pages from a website that expressed her views on religion and politics. She was supported in this by her husband.”
That’s right: instead of recognizing that a middle school classroom full of 13-year-old kids wasn’t the appropriate place to speak of religion, politics and then top it off by telling children that their parents weren’t Christian due to their political beliefs, the teacher doubled down, with the support of her husband, and showed the parents several pages of what we can only assume was right-wing garbage calling the President a Muslim.
Angry by how the conference went, the father wrote a letter to Chuck Ledbetter, the Dublin City Schools Superintendent. He then went to a Dublin School Board meeting and read the letter aloud. This bit of perseverance seemed to pay off… a bit.
TEACHER HOLDS ONTO HER JOB
It’s important to note that the teacher claims media reports of the incident aren’t true. But if this is the case, why did Superintendent Ledbetter have this to say:
“We work to build bridges with students, not build walls, and talking politics, especially giving political opinions, can be very divisive […] We’ve had meetings to make sure there is an understanding that this is not appropriate […] You try to be appropriate to the situation. It’s one of those that you don’t want repeated.”
And what of the teacher’s husband showing up to toss around his power as school board member? Ledbetter admitted that there was a school board member at the parent-teacher conference, but he didn’t name which member. He did have this to say, though:
“A board member being in a parent-teacher conference can tip the balance, or at least from the appearance, tip the balance of fairness. It is not a practice that we can allow.”
The superintendent says that action has been taken against the teacher, but she still holds her position at Dublin Middle School. Additionally, the newspaper which published the story didn’t even mention the teacher’s name. One Dublin resident mentioned this when they said the following:
“I was told last night by someone in the school system that nothing will be done because of who the teacher is and her husband being on the board! Just like the paper omitted her name and his name, small town bullshit!”
So a teacher in a small bright red town in the Deep South interjects her religion into the classroom, shares divisive political opinions, tells the children that their parents aren’t Christian, brings in her husband to intimidate the parents and refuses to admit she was wrong. And she gets to keep her job. We’ll note here that the Chairman of the city’s Board of Education is a reverend.
This is getting swept under the rug, and the Dublin City Board of Education is hoping this sickening display won’t get noticed outside of their small town.
Tough luck, guys.
For those who want it, here’s some contact information for the Dublin City Board of Education: (478) 353-8000. The superintendent’s email is [email protected]
Just for your reference.