Education Advocates Need YOUR help. What, worried about being fired for advocacy?
Teachers do not forfeit the right to comment publicly on matters of public importance simply because they accept a public school teaching position. Teachers cannot be fired or disciplined for statements about matters of public importance unless it can be demonstrated that the teacher’s speech created a substantial adverse impact on school functioning. A teacher’s off-campus statements regarding the war or participation in an off-campus political demonstration are not acceptable bases for job discipline or termination. (Source: ACLU of Washington)
Still unsure about being an education advocate? Consider what TCEA’s Jennifer Bergland outlines when it is safe to be an advocate for change:
As individuals, educators can advocate like anyone else. They can campaign for candidates and promote legislative causes.
As a representative of a public school district (at least in the state of Texas), they cannot use any school resources to campaign for candidates or legislative causes. This includes time, email, or any other type of resources that are purchased with public funds. While representing a school district they can educate others about an issue BUT cannot advocate a position.
This means that after school hours they are free to get as politically involved as they desire as long as they are not doing so as a “representative of a school or school district”. They can represent themselves as a teacher or administrator, but they can’t imply that their school or district is supportive of their political actions.
The bottom line, outside of school hours, you are an American citizen and have every right (and in my humble opinion, responsibility) to get involved in the political process and should do so.
That in mind, take a moment to act on the following request–shared by Jennifer Bergland–from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE):
On November 4, I will be participating in an Advocacy Retreat hosted by ISTE’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. The retreat will focus on how ISTE can strengthen its grassroots activities and better support ISTE members in their advocacy efforts. Please complete the Advocacy Survey (link below) that was developed to help gather data about individual advocacy experiences as well as barriers to becoming involved in advocacy. This survey should take no more than 3 minutes. The data we gather will be invaluable as I join my colleagues in discussions around this critical issue.
Would you mind taking a few moments–no matter where you work, live–to respond to this survey?
If you get there from here, please mention “Around the Corner” in your comments as how you found out about this. Nothing special will happen, except they will know how you got there. Even I won’t know!
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure