Update on ousted education official
I originally thought that the Texas Education Agency’s gag rule was OK. Other public officials and employees work under gag rules — for example, California’s Brown Act prohibits members of a legislative body from privately communicating with each other to try to develop a consensus on something that they may later vote on. However, I have changed my mind about the TEA gag rule because of widespread opposition to the rule, even among anti-Darwinists. Anti-Darwinist William Dembski said on Uncommon Descent,
I’m still not clear about the details of the case, but if Comer’s firing were solely for supporting Forrest, this ought not to be.
Also, the anti-Darwinist chairman of the Texas Board of Education, Don McLeroy, said,
“As far as I’m concerned, (agency employees) can say what they want. They’ve got freedom of speech.”
OK, Chris Comer may be entitled to express her own biased opinions, but when sending out "FYI" notices of public lectures, conferences, and debates, she should send out notices of all relevant public events or send out none. To do otherwise is censorship. Would she send out an "FYI" notice of a "Darwin-to-Hitler" lecture by a bible-pounding holy-rolling fundy-type creationist crackpot? That is what Barbara Forrest is -- a crackpot. She is a crackpot conspiracy theorist.
Earlier this year there was a “Darwin v. Design” conference at Southern Methodist University in Dallas — that conference got a lot of publicity because some Darwinist faculty members asked the administration not to hold it. If Chris Comer knew in advance about that conference — and there is a fair chance that she did — did she send out an “FYI” notice about it?
If -- as many contend -- Comer is innocent and has a good case that she is a victim of discrimination, then why did she resign so quietly? Why didn't she fight to keep her job? I suspect that an investigation has turned up or would turn up more evidence of bias on her part. Anyway, the fact that she resigned and was not fired is going to hurt her if she tries to sue the TEA.