Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sorrell Heads To Private School To Find Freedom Of Expression

Embattled high school journalism teacher Amy Sorrell is leaving the East Allen Co. School system, which disciplined her for allowing an editorial promoting gay tolerance to be published in the school's newspaper and barred her from teaching journalism, to teach journalism at a private school according to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. The paper reports:

A local teacher who was barred from teaching journalism in East Allen County Schools after allowing an opinion piece on tolerance toward homosexuals to be printed in a school newspaper has been hired to teach journalism at a private school in Fort Wayne.

Keystone Schools hired Amy Sorrell, a former teacher at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School, to teach English and journalism at the private K-12 school starting this fall . . .

Two months after the article was printed, Sorrell was placed on paid leave and a week later notified that her contract might be terminated for not following directives from Yoder regarding publishing the newspaper, altering the curriculum, placing the district in a false light by issuing false or misleading statements to the media and other allegations . . .

Sorrell was cited for insubordination, neglect of duty and substantial inability to perform teaching duties. She reached a settlement with EACS in April, which transferred her to Heritage Junior-Senior High School, barred her from teaching journalism for three years and required her to issue a written apology. She was on paid leave for the remainder of the 2006-07 school year and was set to begin teaching at Heritage this fall.

Instead, Sorrell will again have the opportunity to teach journalism.

“I think with the experience I’ve had over the past few months, I’ve proved to myself the First Amendment is important enough to me that I’ll fight for it,” she said. “I think Keystone understands that is one quality I’m going to bring – to teach these kids their constitutional rights.”

Keystone's gain is yet another loss for our public school systems. Good luck to Sorrell.

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