Posted by Matthew Rothschild on June 24, 2010

Two Massachusetts teachers have been disciplined for expressing their opposition to war.

On June 11, at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, there was an assembly for the graduating class. As part of that ceremony, a school official was honoring six seniors who were about to enter the Armed Services.

At that point, two teachers, Marybeth Verani and Adeline Koscher, stood up in silent protest and Verani held an “End War” sign.

Afterwards, a Boston TV station, WBZ, ran a report on the incident, which you can see here.

Subscribe to The Progressive

It’s astonishingly biased against the teachers, even though, in the segment, Verani says, of the students in the assembly, “I’m showing them, in a democracy, how to express dissent.”

Soon, the Web lit up with cries to can the teachers.

Nancy Matthis, writing at americandaughter.com, a rightwing website, headlined her story, “Fire These Teachers”.

Another rightwing blogger, Cassy Fiano, said: “These teachers should be immediately fired. End of story. To disrespect students in such a way is inexcusable, especially when these students are willing to fight to defend their freedom to be ignorant, rude, moonbat asses. Showing students how to exercise dissent? Please. It’s the most pathetic excuse possible.”

A Massachusetts police website referred to one of the teachers as a “cunt.”

According to the Cape Cod Times, some students at the school joined the call to fire the teachers.

“Parents and other community members have flooded the high school principal’s office with about 40 e-mails and phone calls criticizing the teachers’ actions,” the paper said.

A few people did support the teachers, however, the paper said.

Verani told the Cape Cod Times that she and Koscher were trying “to address the expansion of military recruitment of children in our schools.” She added: “I want them to be home and alive and well and going to college and dating and having kids and coaching Little League.”

Verani and Koscher were put on paid administrative leave until the end of the school year on Jun 24, the Cape Cod Times reported. And Verani will be suspended without pay for ten days at the start of the fall semester.

Neither the principal nor the superintendent would comment to The Progressive on this matter. Nor would Koscher. And Verani would not go on record.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article “Latina Commencement Speaker Heckled in Arizona.”

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

Subscribe to The Progressive