Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Controversy Continues About New Jersey Teacher's Photograph Of President Bush: Update 1

Photo: Home News Tribune
New Jersey teacher Shilba Pillai-Diaz's continues to be involved in a controversy surrounding a photograph of President Bush that she had posted on a bulletin board in her classroom.

A local newspaper, the Home News Tribune has published an updated version of the events surrounding this episode.

After a number of parents had expressed concern, district administrators directed her to remove one or more photographs of President Bush from a classroom bulletin board. Ms. Diaz refused to comply with those orders. It is from this point forward that the versions told by Ms. Pillai-Diaz and the district diverge.

Ms.Pillai-Diaz asserts that the district dismissed her from the classroom, and instructed her to leave school property. The district states that she left her students (without permission) during the instructional day. Therefore, according to the district, she quit her job.

According to the paper, it was decided (by Ms. Pillai-Diaz and Superintendent Gary P. McCartney) that the teacher would return to her classroom yesterday. She decided not to, she said, after the South Brunswick School District "smeared her" in its publicized version of events. She has now retained an attorney and is considering legal action.

Your EdWonk's email inquiries to Superintendent Gary P. McCartney were not answered. When the EdWonk attempted to reach the Superintendent by telephone, a district staffer indicated that the Superintendent was unavailable because he was, "In a meeting."

This story will continue to be updated by The Education Wonks as additional information becomes available.