(OPINION) ETH – The principal at a High School in Tennessee has just been placed on a paid administrative leave after voicing his opinion on SCS’s virtual learning platform.
According to the report from the local affiliate, News Channel3, Principal Barton Thorne of Cordova High School made a 9-minute remark that landed him on administrative leave. The report states that Thorne was commenting on freedom of speech zeroing in on social media platforms that have blocked President Donald Trump.
“The principal at Cordova High School has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the review of the comments that were made,” Jerrica Phillips said. Details of his remarks were not made public, however, audio of Thorne’s remarks, which lasts a little more than nine minutes long, was obtained.
Although Throne was critical of the riots at the Capitol, he also objected to actions taken by several social media platforms and made this known to his students. “It’s what’s going on with Twitter and Facebook and Google and Apple, and their decision as private companies to filter and to decide what you, you hear and know about,” Throne said in the recording.
Thorne stressed his comments weren’t about President Trump, but more so about freedom of speech. “Because there have been times even in American history where a small group of people decided what you could hear. You think about “McCarthyism.” If you don’t know about that, you can Google that or talk to your Social Studies teacher,” Thorne said in the recording.
SCS is reportedly reviewing Thorne’s comments, which come as SCS is working to keep students informed about recent political and social events. “To my understanding, it was a recording that was shared on our virtual platforms with the schools we use Microsoft teams,” Phillips said.
“I’ll have to learn more about whether or not it was an opening school message or how exactly it went out or what time of day.” “Emotionally charged situations, we have to sometimes temper back, recalibrate, think about the message we’re sending to our student,” Michael Lowe, of the SCS Office of Equity and Access, said. “Because Cordova is like the City of Memphis, it’s made up of a salad bowl of many different students of all areas of Memphis.”