Legal Overwatch for Parents’ School Rights filed a complaint with the Oklahoma Board of Education calling for an investigation and revocation of the teaching certificate of Summer Boismier, the Norman teacher who resigned after she made her classroom into “a physical manifestation of an HB 1775 violation” (her own words); disparaged “the bigots in our state government;” told her new students on their first day: “they say I’m an indoctrinator, well by the end of this year, you’ll believe lasagna is a sandwich,” and then encouraged them to download a QR code that gave them access to pornographic books as part of a Banned Book Program of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Chief Counsel of Legal Overwatch Maria Seidler stated “Summer Boismier violated the first rule of teaching – no politics in the public school classroom.” Case law for decades have been clear that public school teachers have no free speech rights in the classroom. Teachers are a hired voice by the State and must instruct consistent with curriculum guidelines set by the employer, particularly when compulsory attendance laws make students a captive audience.
Seidler said, “This is not a partisan policy but applies whether a liberal or conservative opinion is the offensive speech. A teacher who brings personal politics into the classroom and facilitates the distribution of material that is harmful to minors under Oklahoma criminal code is guilty of insubordination and can be subject to disciplinary actions, including termination.”
Legal Overwatch’s complaint lays out Summer Boismier purposeful scenario on the first day of class that would allow her to be a central figure in a very public political controversy. After an abrupt resignation, she used her resignation supposedly over HB 1775, to launch a media campaign that was self-promotional. It worked. She has recently announced she is leaving Oklahoma for the Brooklyn Public Library, but she has vowed to return and to renew her certificate when it expires in 2024.
OSDE should revoke her teaching certificate for cause, especially when she has also vowed that she “would do it again in a heartbeat. No regrets. Would do it again. Will do it again.”
Her actions and her words demonstrate disregard for Oklahoma law and violation of Oklahoma teaching standards, constituting probable cause for the State Board to revoke her certificate.
About Legal Overwatch for Parents’ School Rights is a nonprofit law firm recently founded to support parents’ rights in their engagement with public school administrations. The School Board, the Superintendent, teachers, and contractors with the school board are well-represented, often using taxpayers’ funds for their legal expenses. Underrepresented are parents, perhaps the most important interest that needs to be represented. Legal Overwatch gives parents a fighting chance for their children in official proceedings.