A New Hampshire high school principal is insisting her membership in a Facebook group lamenting that Barack Obama lived through his first year in office is all a big misunderstanding.
“I do not wish our president dead in any way,” Principal Ronna Cadarette told Concord Monitor.
More than a million people have joined the Facebook group, which features an illustration of the president equating him with iconography of the Soviet Union.
A photograph from the page is above right.
The name of the group is: “Dear Lord, This Year You Took My Favorite Actor, Patrick Swazie (sic). You Took My Favorite Actress Farah (sic) Fawcett. You Took My Favorite Singer, Michael Jackson. I Just Wanted to Let You Know, My Favorite President is Barack Obama. Amen.”
“I find that funny; I don’t find that offensive,” Cadarette said. “It’s a joke, off-color possibly, but a joke.”
She removed her entire Facebook page, but is now crying foul, saying the public pressure forced her to give up her First Amendment rights. Ironically, she struck a nerve with teachers at her school last fall when she carried out orders from the superintendent to disallow the live broadcast of a speech by President Obama aimed at the nation’s students.
According to Concord Monitor, English teacher Neal Byles went before the state Board of Education to argue that the district had infringed on his academic freedom and due process rights by barring him from showing the president’s speech live to his students last fall.
His complaint was dismissed unanimously by the Board, which is headed by attorney John Lyons, who worked on John McCain’s campaign. Byles is a registered Democrat, who is now using the Facebook incident to call attention to the political motivation behind refusing to allow students to see Obama’s speech as it happened.
“This site shows that Dr. Cadarette has a clearly partisan agenda regarding President Obama, which makes her part in the censorship of him in our district highly suspect,” Byles said.
Yet the principal insists her Facebook page has “zero association with me professionally.”
Cadarette told the newspaper she took down her Facebook page in the face of heated criticism.
“Because of this experience and the unintended consequences of something that was a joke, I will now not exercise my First Amendment rights, and I will have no Facebook page,” she said.
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