A social studies teacher at a Florida high school is claiming that his “right to free speech” was violated when school administrators barred him from a recent appearance of President Barack Obama.
Coral Reef Senior High teacher Randall Scott had said that he “would rather dine in Hell with Satan” than shake the president’s hand, and described himself as a “virulent anti-Communist and hater of Obamanism.”
Scott told his side of the story in a letter he posted on Instagram. “I’m a conservative Republican who uses social media to express my views,” he wrote. “At the last two faculty meetings our principal had strongly advised us not to post anything. As a citizen of this great country I chose to ignore her advise [sic] which now in retrospect seems more like a veiled threat.”
“The next day,” he continued, “I’m suddenly excluded from a presidential event.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman John Schuster said in a statement that “the size and setup of the event venue did not permit all of the school’s staff and students to attend, and local administrators were required to decide who would attend to represent the school.”
The Miami New Timescorroborated Scott’s claim, writing that Coral Reef Senior High Principal Adrianne Leal had specifically warned faculty not to post about Obama on social media in the days before the event, and that Scott was excluded from the presidential appearance because he steadfastly refused to do so, littering his Twitter account with statements such as:
Think about it. Is the pen mightier than the sword or is obama just a Putz? @ In my I hate Obama mood http://t.co/ycpim8XaHg
He claimed on Instagram that he finds “it hard to believe the Secret Service could find me a threat,” and wrote to Marco Rubio’s office asking them to look into his exclusion. “Can you look into this for me? I feel that I was singled out for using my right to free speech.”
Scott also told WPLG that he wanted “whoever is responsible for this to publicly apologize for discriminating against me because of my political views.”
Watch a WPLG interview with Scott below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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