With teacher pay and benefits coming to the forefront in a heated political climate, the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker has found its way into one Whitefish Bay classroom.
Conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes reported Tuesday that a Whitefish Bay Middle School teacher wore a "Recall Walker" pin in the classroom — a cause for concern for some of the students' parents.
"I would like the school to be a political-free zone," said one parent, who asked not to be named. "If a teacher was wearing a pro-Walker pin, an anti-Walker pin or any other political pin, it's inappropriate. I think it is provocative and unnecessary. What we really want is kids coming home talking about the core curriculum, not that the teacher is wearing a political pin."
Whitefish Bay Superintendent Mary Gavigan said the district has historically expected its staff to remain neutral on controversial issues, and the teacher voluntarily took the button off after a conversation with Middle School Principal Lisa Gies. Gavigan said all of the district's principals have since reminded teachers not to take a stance on political issues in the classroom.
“We do ask that our staff refrain from using their position to promote partisan politics while at school and during the work day,” Gavigan said.
Gavigan said this is the first reported incident of a teacher bringing their political beliefs into the classroom in recent history. The district responded to a similar complaint roughly four to six years ago at Richards School, she said.