The Walled Lake Consolidated School District is saying that a high school teacher was not disciplined for expressing his support of President Trump on social media.
Justin Kucera, a varsity baseball coach and social studies teacher at Walled Lake Western High School, told The Washington Free Beacon, a privately owned, for-profit online newspaper, that district officials met with him shortly after posting a tweet on July 6 expressing support for Trump’s speech to reopen schools.
He told the website that Principal Ali Hamka and District Superintendent Kenneth Gutman gave him an ultimatum: be fired or resign. Kucera added that the statement was intended to unify, rather than divide.
“I was required to meet with [human resources], the superintendent, and my principal [on July 10]. They initially took my statement on why I tweeted those tweets and they told me they would have a decision about my future employment in the upcoming days. When they completed the meeting, I was told I had the option to either be fired or resign.” Kucera said.
I’m done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president ❌?? Don’t @ me” Coach Kucera (@CoachKWLW) July 7, 2020
Judy Evola, spokesperson for The Walled Lake Consolidated School District, told The Oakland Press that no disciplinary action was taken against Kucera for posting the tweet. She would not confirm whether or not Kucera is still employed by the district.
Gutman, in an emailed statement sent to The Oakland Press, said as a matter of policy and practice, the district does not comment on current and/or former employees as it relates to specific personnel issues.
“These are difficult times in our community and across our country,” read the statement. “When issues arise there’s a temptation to view items through the lens of our fractured political discourse. Walled Lake encourages students and staff members to engage each other with mutual respect and civility. We believe in the power of education and critical thinking. We believe vigorous community discussion, done with civility and mutual respect leads to productive and innovative outcomes. In the Walled Lake Schools’ educational setting, we encourage positive discourse and working together to make decisions that benefit our community.”
The Oakland Press made efforts to contact Kucera, Hamka and the Walled Lake Education Association, but did not receive a response in time for publication.