A short while ago a respected teacher leader, recently quoted in the media, was called into her administrators’s office and told that she was not to speak with the media because, “contractually, all media contacts are supposed to be cleared by BPS communications.”
First of all, there’s nothing in the contract that speaks to this issue.
More importantly there’s a little something in the Bill of Rights, in particular the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If the school district wants to challenge the First Amendment rights of our members, well, bring it on. In this case, the member gave a thoughtful interview to the Bay State Banner on how school budget cuts would negatively impact her school. Good for her and more power to all who speak up. We ran the article last week; here’s where you can read it.
Incidentally, more than 7,450 members and friends opened the eBulletin last week, and the article referred to was far and away the most clicked-on link in that issue. Its click rate will only increase with the School Department’s heavy-handed tactics.
Memo to the district: Read up on the First Amendment.
Additional memo: Instead of attempting to quash debate on the inadequate budget for our schools, you ought to be leading the charge for more funds. Or get out of the way.
Our only advice to our members: Do it on your own time.
Below you’ll fine a list of some media contacts in the event event anyone wishes to reach out to a member of the media: