Cherokee Co. tells Sen. Williams he can’t protest at school

[private]Cherokee County school officials have told state Sen. Michael Williams (R-Cumming), politely but firmly, that he will not be allowed to stage a protest at River Ridge High School on Wednesday.

Williams had planned the event at the Woodstock school to protest the actions of a teacher who told some students to remove pro-Trump t-shirts they were wearing in class.

In an email to Williams on Monday, Barbara P. Jacoby, the school system’s chief communications officer, said:

“We have determined that your protest, while advertised by you as ‘peaceful,’ cannot be guaranteed as such, and will significantly disrupt teaching and learning and may endanger the safety of more than 3,200 students and staff.”

Jacoby added:  “School police officers and other public safety personnel will be monitoring the driveway entrances and elsewhere on campus to ensure students and employees stay safe and secure; and the campus will be on Code Yellow all day (no outside activities).”

Williams, a Donald Trump supporter and a candidate for governor, has been on a rampage in recent weeks against River Ridge teacher Lyn Orletsky, who caught media attention after telling two students to remove shirts with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“ANTIFA is mobilizing in the streets to suppress free speech they deem unacceptable. Now students in public schools are forced to adhere to the same demands,” Williams said. “Lyn Orletsky, and other liberal activist teachers, I’m putting you on notice: If you suppress free speech in the classroom, you will hear from me and many citizens until you are fired or resign. The First Amendment will not be destroyed in Georgia!”

Williams released this response to the school system’s email:

“Once again, the school is attempting to ignore the rights of Trump supporters to express their 1st Amendment rights. Just five-days after Cherokee County Chief Marshal Ron Hunton told the Cherokee Tribune that our protest was lawful, the school is claiming it unlawful with threat of forceful police removal. The school claims to have pre-determined that our peaceful protest, ‘will significantly disrupt teaching and learning and may endanger the safety of more than 3,200 students and staff…’ The arrogance of such statements is insulting to myself and our peaceful protestors. We will not be intimidated by your deceitful statement meant to prevent our lawful right to assemble. The protest will continue as planned. Once again, this school has failed to properly handle simple situations. Very disappointing.”

Williams said that he and his supporters “will meet at the River Ridge High School sign in front of the school building” at 12 noon on Wednesday.

Cherokee County said school Supt. Brian Hightower “has authorized an administrative investigation, which is ongoing, and, as a result, we cannot discuss disciplinary action to ensure the Constitutional right of due process is afforded to all employees.”

“As we have repeatedly stated publicly, and to you in a phone conversation earlier today, we do not agree with the teacher’s actions, and we support our students’ Constitutional right to express political opinions,” Jacoby said in the email to Williams.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Cherokee County school system , Michael Williams