Common sense has prevailed in the case of a former “Teacher of the Year” who was suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his personal Facebook page. The Lake County, Fla., School Board reinstated Jerry Buell as a teacher.
Buell returns to the classroom on Thursday after a week-long investigation into his Facebook comments of disapproval of legalized homosexual marriage in New York.
"This is a great day for the Constitution. By fully exonerating Mr. Buell, the Lake County School Board has reaffirmed what the rest of Americans already knew,” says Harry Mihet, senior litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel. The First Amendment protects the right of public servants to express their personal opinion without any fear or intimidation. It is a shame that Mr. Buell had to miss three days of teaching for his employer to learnthis lesson."
Indeed, Buell was persecuted on a national level and missed the first three days of the 2011-2012 school year, robbing him of the opportunity to get to prepare his students for the year.
The First Amendment controversy started when a 2002 Mount Dora High School graduate, who never had Buell as a teacher, complained to the Board about Buell's Facebook comments. That complaint ultimately led to the suspension.