A Los Angeles high school classroom is going viral after images appeared online depicting divisive decor. According to Town Hall, An Alexander Hamilton High School history teacher put up anti-American and anti-police posters in the classroom.
One poster said, "F*** THE POLICE," and another, "F*** AMERIKKKA. THIS IS NATIVE LAND." LGBTQIA+, Palestine, Transgender, and Black Lives Matter flags are also seen in the online images.
These photos were sent from a concerned parent to the national grassroots group Parents Defending Education. The same group reached out to the Los Angeles Unified School District to seek a response.
Officials responded with a statement: "LA Unified holds firm in its policy that students and adults in both schools and offices should treat all persons equally and respectfully and refrain from the willful or negligent use of slurs against any person based on race, language is spoken, color, sex, religion, handicap, national origin, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, or political belief."
"Across the nearly 630,000 students and about 30,000 teachers district-wide, individual teachers decorate their rooms in a variety of ways, with some decorations being directly tied to or in support of our district curriculum, while others are inclined to adorn based on their freedom of expression and individuality," the statement reads.
"When utilizing decorations in our learning environments, all LA Unified teachers are expected to adhere to district policies and to be mindful of our mission to educate children in a classroom that reflects all our policies of inclusion and respectful treatment of individual rights."
Unhappy with the response, the parent group referenced legal precedent that "public employees are not insulated from employer discipline under the First Amendment when they make statements under their official duties" because "teachers speak on behalf of the school district when performing their duties in the classroom."
"When teachers make statements, advocate for particular points of view, and/or post specific items on walls or bulletin boards, they are acting under their official duties," PDE continues. "They do not have unfettered First Amendment rights," concludes the group in their response.