Amy Sacks principal fired. Has cancel culture gone too far? A former Pennsylvania school principal sues for reinstatement and damages after private Facebook memes led to her being fired for being ‘offensive’.
When failing to be politically correct turns you into social pariah. Has cancel culture gone too far?
Amy Ott Sacks, former principal of Evergreen Elementary School in Collegeville, had been working for the Perkiomen Valley Public School District for two decades before she was ‘let go’ in July.
Superintendent Barbara Russell, who received complaints from a parent, reportedly told Sacks that the posts were ‘offensive, unacceptable and unprofessional’ and that she believed Sacks to be ‘racist,’ according to The Daily Mail.
Sample ‘offensive’ posts included the following:
Has being offended become an open license to police ideas?
Around a picture of a potato, a caption read: ‘This is a potato. If this potato was running against Joe Biden, I’d vote for the potato.’
Alongside an image of a burning hospital, presumably at the hands of protesters/looters, read a caption: ‘They should burn their own houses and property! Disgusting isn’t even strong enough of a word!’
While another side by side image captioned an image of looters during the summer’s race rioting with the words, ‘Amateur looters,’ while an image directly below showing Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell as ‘professional looters.’
Sacks in a Facebook post titled, ‘No Left Turn in Education,’ posted on Thanksgiving Day that she was terminated as a direct result of her ‘right of center political views’ that had been ‘PRIVATELY’ shared and not due to anything ‘even borderline unacceptable.’
The school district violated her freedom-of-speech guarantee in the First Amendment, Sacks claimed in her post.
‘This cancel culture within the public school system has to stop,’ the educator wrote.
Which is to wonder had Sachs’ political/social point of views aligned with her employer’s would she have been called out? And since when does an employee’s private views translate to them being fodder for dismissal? How far an employer be able to go in ‘patrolling’ a worker’s point of view, especially if said worker keeps such views private?
What if the memes mirrored officials preferred point of view?
The veteran educator, who denies that she ‘resigned’ is asking for reinstatement along for $500,000 in compensation for ’emotional turmoil.’
‘At no point was Amy advised to get counsel, nor was she informed of her rights; instead she was viciously threatened with career ruination if she tried to contest anything happening,’ the attorneys said. ‘On July 13, 2020, the board approved Amy’s termination, absurdly and Orwellianly re-characterizing it as a ‘resignation’ to hide what they had done.’
‘This conduct was wildly illegal,’ the filing continued. ‘Amy has a near absolute right to free speech on her private Facebook account.’
And then there was this comment on social media that made this author wonder, see what you think?
‘I am a retired teacher. It was always considered unethical (not illegal) for a teacher to be politically biased in the classroom, or for an administrator to be politically biased toward staff. This principal’s action might warrant an advisement or slap on the wrist, certainly not termination. What is most disturbing to me about this is that educator’s and administrator’s posts on social media that espouse views favorable to the left are overlooked, and even applauded by their superiors.’