Arizona Teacher Fired Over Bumper Sticker
“Have you drugged your kid today?”
That’s the bumper sticker on English teacher Tarah Ausburn’s Prius that got her fired. (She has a total of 61 on her car.)
The high school teacher from Surprise, Arizona, refused to peel off the sticker after five parents at Imagine Prep High School complained and administrators ordered it — or her car — removed.
Peel Off Sticker Or Park Elsewhere
They said she could keep the sticker on if she’d agree to park off campus for the rest of the school year.
As for the offending sticker, “It’s kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications,” the English teacher told CBS 5 News. “I just like the ability to take a controversial topic and sum it up in one clever line. I’m an English teacher; that’s what I do,” Ausburn added.
Ausburn Doesn’t Pontificate In Class, Only On Her Prius
Ms. Ausburn points out that she never pontificated in class – she left that up to her Prius, which is completely plastered over with stickers on issues ranging from the environment to feminism.
She believes school officials violated her First Amendment rights, and she wants her job back. Imagine Prep is a public charter school, meaning that teachers there don’t have as many rights as teachers in “regular” public schools, nor do they have a union backing them up.
Most teachers would agree that it’s wrong to try and influence your students’ political and social beliefs, although sometimes it’s really hard to avoid doing so.
But to not be able to express your opinions via bumper stickers on your car?
Students Call Tahar Ausburn “Amazing”
Interestingly, the story on this teacher published by CBS 5News has drawn numerous comments, many of them from Ms. Ausburn’s former students, discussing what an amazing teacher she was.
Maybe the school found her just too amazing?
Take Action: Sign the petition to help Tarah Ausburn fight for free speech.
Photo credit: Tarah Ausburn