Equity & Diversity

Superintendent Receives Death Threats After Website Claims He’s Anti-Trump

By Corey Mitchell — February 27, 2017 2 min read
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The DeKalb County, Ga., schools superintendent says he and his family have received death threats after a conservative news and opinion website published a story saying the district prohibits “pro-Trump immigration rhetoric.”

The WorldNetDaily website piece claimed that schools chief R. Stephen Green fired three school employees for supporting President Donald Trump.

The district maintains that the employees voluntarily resigned, knowing that they were likely to be dismissed. Television station WXIA reports that the principals and regional superintendents that supervise the three employees— two teachers and a nurse—recommended firing them, but the district had yet to take action.

The employees allegedly made statements about undocumented students and parents at a heavily Hispanic district high school. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the nurse posted her thoughts on Facebook while the teachers made anti-immigrant statements in front of students in the days after Trump won the election.

The nurse and educators allegedly inferred that students at Cross Keys High School and their parents would face deportation when Trump took office. The president has promised, and is delivering, a strict crackdown on illegal immigration.

The WorldNetDaily author wrote that Green declared that: “Any comments made inside or outside the classroom must line up with the school district’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.” It’s a claim the superintendent denies.

“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,” Green wrote in a statement.

“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.”

The FBI and DeKalb schools police are investigating the threats made against Green and his family.

“It’s a time for me to to be mindful to take the proper precautions to protect me and my family,” Green told WXIA.

Education Week last wrote about Green in 2015, when he took the job leader the 99,000-student DeKalb schools, one of the 30 largest districts in the United States. He previously led the Kansas City, Mo., schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.