New Political Bias Allegations Surface in SHS ‘Trump’ Zoom Expulsion Issue
After a Southridge High School student was removed from a Zoom meeting Tuesday over a Trump flag in the backround, new allegations of bias have surfaced.
A male student was removed from a 6th period Sports Literature Class by the teacher who demanded a Trump flag that was visible in the back round be taken down.
We have a short video from a female student who was on the same Zoom call. She says, on the video, the 'removed student' told the teacher he didn't see anything in the Zoom chat about taking it down. The girl said the teacher told the boy "you need to take it down."
Zoom meetings used by KSD have an accompanying chat communication feature, where public and private information can be shared between teachers and students etc.
According to the girl, the 'removed student' asked "Why? It's just the President," At that point the teacher told him he can't have it up "it's political" and then he removed the student from the Zoom class. Reports indicate as the student was turning away to possibly move the flag in the living room, he was kicked out.
The 'removed student' says the sign DID contain the words "No B*** S*** (B-S)," which is found on a number of Trump signs and hats. However, our sources tell us the issue of the profanity was NOT publicly addressed by the teacher, and was NOT stated as the reason why it needed to be removed.
Now, Wednesday, additional allegations have surfaced. Multiple sources tell us they include:
- A second male student was also removed from the same class for the same reason, a Trump flag. We don't know if it contained profanity.
- A female student was removed from the same class last week, for the same reason, a Trump flag-sign.
- Recently, a group of students in that class were muted (not allowed to vocally participate). "They were told it was because 'the students in that group all had Trump flags displayed.'" (quote from source).
Tuesday, we spoke with Robin Chastain who is the Executive Director for Communications and Public Relations for KSD, and learned that there is a specific list of expectations for students for virtual learning. These are taken directly from the KSD instructions supplied to students. They include:
- Find a quiet place
- school appropriate surroundings
- have materials ready
- be prepared to stay until the Zoom session has ended.
Chastain said the KSD considers the Zoom environment to be "the same" as a school classroom. We have seen the actual list ourselves.
However, the definition of "school appropriate surroundings" is very grey and ambiguous. These are students' private homes. There's no specific list of what's 'allowed' or not allowed in the backround.
The KSD, through Chastain, has issued a formal statement indicating the incident is being investigated by way of the regular school and District protocols. We are aware that a number of parents have reached out to both the SHS Principal and the District.
We have reached out to KSD Wednesday to determine what the exact expectations are for all staff and workers when it comes to social media (public and private) as well as activities and causes in the community that are not a part of their KSD employment.
As of this writing, we have not received a reply. This situation continues to develop, we will update it as more information becomes available.