NATOMAS (CBS13) – Supporters gather behind a Sacramento teacher who was caught on camera expressing support for Antifa.
In September, the Natomas Unified School District teacher Gabriel Gipe was put on paid administrative leave after dozens of parents demanded his resignation. The board took action on Wednesday to press ahead with Gipe’s official sacking.
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Since the Inderkum High School teacher’s video sparked calls for his dismissal, Sonia Lewis, community activist and CEO of Ascribe Educational Consulting, has stated that there have been at least 100 people who have called the teacher or written to support him.
“What I hear personally is that Mr. Gipe is a good teacher, the students appreciate his approach,” said Lewis.
Gipe was tapped in an off-campus conversation by a right-wing organization called Project Veritas, which last month urged parents to demand Gipe’s dismissal, but Lewis believes the calls are misdirected.
“The expectation is that they will be given a variety of policies and procedures and forms of government so that they can be analytical and global citizens,” she said. “I think there is a terrible priority when we talk about the fear teachers feel right now, ‘Are we teaching the truth or not, who are we making comfortable or not?'”
In the recording you can hear Gipe say: “I have an Antifa flag on my wall. One student complained about this and said that it made her feel uncomfortable. Well, it’s supposed to make the fascists uncomfortable. ‘ ”
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The school district claims an investigation revealed hundreds of pages of disciplinary charges, which, along with the video, reveal a pattern of inappropriate behavior.
“There was an allegation that Mr. Gipe was fired because of the content of the video. That is not true. Following an investigation, Mr. Gipe was recommended to quit for violating many guidelines, the code of education, and more. As we have reported, there are nearly 400 pages of charges and evidence. Mr. Gipe actively taught pro-communist ideology in a US government course. The students interviewed said how uncomfortable they felt about his teaching in his class, ”district spokeswoman Deidra Powell said in a statement.
Civil rights attorney Mark Merin believes the Gipe district is not giving due process.
“This is essentially a first change question as I see it. If anything in his teaching has raised any questions, there is a process for that. Usually teachers are instructed, ”said Merin.
Both Merin and Lewis question the validity of the district’s violations of Gipe and why they weren’t addressed earlier.
“If Mr. Gipe is guilty of anything, it means his headmaster is guilty of something. It means the person standing over him owes something because it means they all lost the ball, ”Lewis explained.
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In the coming days, Gipe will receive a formal resignation letter from the district, which he can appeal.