We previously discussed the disturbing case of Vermont Principal Tiffany Riley who was suspended after she wrote on Facebook that she does not agree with the Black Lives Matter movement. Shortly after that posting, Mount Ascutney School Board held an emergency meeting to declare that it is “uniformly appalled” and that Riley was “tone deaf” for making such a statement.
In what should now be a major free speech case, the Board unanimously voted to fire Riley, citing her “denigrating, derogatory, or contrary to the movement for social equity for African Americans, including the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The Board’s 50-page decision is a virtual invitation for a lawsuit. It is clear that Riley is being punished for holding an opposing view of BLM. While struggling to find objective grounds for termination like a failure “to see both sides of an issue” or being “stubborn when facing criticism,” it is abundantly clear that Riley is being fired for her statement on BLM. Indeed, those objections would normally warrant a sit down with a superintendent, not a termination. Instead, the report highlights the statement as “’diametrically contrary’ to her job of promoting racial equity.”
Here again is the statement:
I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, but I DO NOT agree with the coercive measures taken to get to this point across; some of which are falsified in an attempt to prove a point. While I want to get behind BLM, I do not think people should be made to feel they have to choose black race over human race.
While I understand the urgency to feel compelled to advocate for black lives, what about our fellow law enforcement?
What about all others who advocate for and demand equity for all?
Just because I don’t walk around with a BLM sign should not mean I am a racist.