Posters put up by teachers in a few classrooms at Westminster High School were removed on Thursday when it was deemed that the teachers were taking a political stance.
A few teachers were involved in putting up posters in their rooms that had a negative view of President Donald Trump, Carroll County Public Schools spokeswoman Carey Gaddis said.
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Stephen Johnson did not comment on the incident itself, but said it's school policy that while staff can discuss politics, they can't try to sway students. The goal is to get the kids to think, he added, not influence their decisions.
"Teachers are obviously to remain neutral," he said.
Gaddis said she could not comment on whether any disciplinary action was taken against the teachers because it is a personnel matter, only that they were asked to remove the posters.
The posters were "We the People" posters showing Latina, Muslim and African-American women in the same red, white and blue schematic of the "Hope" election posters for Barack Obama. Both were designed by Shepard Fairey, who told the Los Angeles Times in January that his imagery was "a pointed reference to people who have felt attacked by President-elect Donald Trump."
When they were initially told by administrators to take the posters down, teachers said the posters dealt with diversity and were allowed to put them back up. But Gaddis said after researching the posters and what they stand for, they were deemed by school system officials to be anti-Trump and were taken back down.
Administration at the school asked the teachers to take the posters down, Gaddis said, because teachers cannot take a political stand in the classroom.
"We allow political posters if it's part of the curriculum," she said.
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But, she added, the teacher would need to show both sides, and not support one over the other.
Gaddis said she could not recall having issues like this previously, and said CCPS sends out emails around election time reminding staff of the school system's policies.
This policy also prohibits teachers from wearing buttons or shirts for a certain candidate and taking a side while they are in class and teaching. If a teacher has both sides represented, that's different, Johnson said.
"It can't be the teacher out politicking for another candidate during school time," Johnson said.