UPDATE: This late word from a spokesman for the Pulaski County Special School District on the status of suspended Mills High history teacher Greg Hendrix:
“PCSSD has recommended the employee in question for termination, as is part of the due process law.”
I am unclear at this moment how the procedure plays out under the school district’s procedure. He has the opportunity to appeal, of course. Currently, the district’s “school board” — the normal point of appeal of an administrative decision — is state Education Commissioner Johnny Key. The district is to elect a new board in November, now that it has been removed from the financial distress list.
UPDATE: I am told Hendrix has 30 days to appeal. The appeal goes to the distrct’s community advisory committee, which makes a recommendation to Key. If he does not appeal the termination takes effect in 30 days.
Hendrix was suspended with pay after complaints about his classroom conduct were made.
The ACLU has released a letter elaborating on its complaint about the conduct of Mills High School history teacher Greg Hendrix related to, among others, showing of the film “The Passion of the Christ”; a study guide with the film, and a classroom rant against liberals, Democrats, welfare recipients and others.
The ACLU letter objects to various actions by Hendrix, including posting of Scriptures on a bulletin board and teaching multiple classes by movies. The letter, from ACLU cooperating lawyer Bettina Brownstein, adds some new allegations:
I have since learned from students that this kind of tirade against Democrats and liberals has occurred frequently in the two semesters the teacher has been at Mills. He has also shown the video, “The Reasons Why the Democrats Are the Party of Slavery” and required students to write a paper about it. … At one time confederate flag on display in his classroom. Students have felt intimidated and chilled by him from expressing contrary views, including a Muslim student.
Hendrix has been suspended with pay pending district review. Brownstein thanked the district for prompt action.
But she said she’d also received reports that some students were threatening a student who complained about Hendrix. She said the district had notified the principal of the threats, but she expected the administration to take “all steps” to prevent any student harassment. She commented:
The ACLU takes the First Amendment very seriously, as well as the other completely inappropriate conduct and words of this teacher. We also take very seriously bullying against students. It certainly seems that Mr. Hendrix has no business being in any classroom or coaching any students. I find it surprising and disheartening that a teacher could teach almost two semesters at Mills and engage in the kind of unconstitutional and other inappropriate conduct that Mr. Hendrix perpetrated.
More than one student had complaints. A report by KTHV said five students had walked out of the class on the showing of the film.
We’ve been unable to reach Hendrix. He apparently once had a Twitter account, but it is no longer active.