Complaint Filed Against Teacher For Sharing Political Beliefs

Nov 27, 2012

LONDON, Ky. -- A parent has filed an ethical complaint against a teacher who allegedly wrote a condescending remark about Democrats on her classroom whiteboard.


The parent, Mary Gilbert, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that she thinks the teacher, Kendra Baker, wrote the comments "You can't be a Democrat & go to heaven" to bully her daughter.

Gilbert said she filed her complaint with the state Education Professional Standards Board, the agency that issues credentials to teachers.

She said the teacher wrote the comments shortly after her daughter expressed admiration for President Obama.

Gilbert said she didn't believe Baker's explanation that she put it on her board to share with a colleague and forgot to erase it.

"I believe it was put up for my daughter's sake," she said. "I feel like she was bullied by a teacher."

The newspaper said it attempted to reach Baker for comment, but was unsuccessful.

Laurel County Superintendent Doug Bennett told the newspaper on Monday that a teacher in the district had violated policy, but he declined to name the teacher or say how the actions were addressed. He said the district had responded appropriately and did not expect any further issues from the longtime teacher who is well-liked by many students.

Gilbert said the issues began the day after the Nov. 6 election during a political discussion in Baker's psychology class. She said her daughter came home crying, and she called the principal at South Laurel High School asking that Baker be required to apologize for her comments, but that did not happen.

Then, on Nov. 13, she wrote the comments on her whiteboard.

"My daughter was very offended by it," Gilbert said.

Although the teacher did apologize for the comments on the whiteboard, Gilbert said she has removed her daughter from the classroom and plans to homeschool her for the rest of her senior year.