A conservative news and opinion website and online news aggregator has falsely reported that DeKalb County School District employees have been fired for their political views. It is important to know that this outlet never contacted the District or me to discuss the facts. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes this web source as “peddling white nationalism.”
The article inaccurately represents the voluntary departure of three school district employees, two teachers and one nurse. These former employees had been investigated by our school system for comments suggesting DeKalb students with immigrant backgrounds faced deportation. Unfortunately, these comments were publicly available to students and families and negatively impacted the employees’ effectiveness in their schools.
These former employees received full due process of law and school board regulations after allegations came to light of their inappropriate comments and actions toward students.
Following fair and thorough school district investigations by the appropriate school principals, those principals and the regional superintendent of these employees unanimously recommended termination. All three employees provided written/oral comments and were afforded a full chance to rebut allegations and challenge any recommendations. All three voluntarily left the system without termination.
We are a public education system. We receive public tax funding. We are required by federal and state law to educate every student who comes into our system. Students must only provide proof of residency, immunization records, and proof of age … not green cards or immigration status.
We fully respect the free speech and all other constitutional rights of our employees, but actions by DeKalb staff members that interfere with their ability to effectively perform their jobs or interfere with our students’ rights to receive education are simply not acceptable.
We value all students, no matter their birth homes or heritages. We love them, and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America. Our diversity is our strength.
We strongly support the diversity of our school system, and we greatly value our role in supporting our immigrant population through the benefits of quality education. This is a core belief. We will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination … on or off district property … that interferes with employees’ ability to effectively perform their jobs or that interferes with learning and the rights of others.
Dr. R. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District