Teacher faces discipline over political posts

Posted repeatedly on newspaper site about local school board election.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

A high school teacher who used class time to post his political opinions online may get his Internet privileges suspended, reports TC Palm.

At Florida's Vero Beach High School, Jason Keeler, who teaches social studies, posted his opinions on TCPalm.com regarding a letter to the editor about a school board vice chairman.

The school's policy is that teachers can express political opinions but not on school time. "It's pretty obvious he was doing it during a time when he should be working with students," said Superintendent Pat Pritchett.

It has not been determined whether Keeler will lose his Internet privileges for 30 days as the Superintendent recommended.

"It is incredibly difficult to remain quiet, even in the face of possible action," Keeler posted. "I will continue to fight for what is best for this county as I have more than one lifetime invested in it."

Keeler's comments on the website engendered several reactions among readers.

"What are you doing blogging day after day during school hours?" the person, identified as "K Smith," said. Smith wondered whether there was a district rule about posting during school time and whether Keeler would be disciplined.

Keeler was counseled on the use of the district's Internet and e-mail policy in 2005 and in 2001.

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