Windy Pappas, a chemistry teacher, Woodland High School teacher, was removed from campus on Friday, October 13 after taking a knee during the national anthem at an assembly.
Pappas, a veteran chemistry teacher at Woodland, can be seen in photos holding signs reading “black lives matter” and “it is okay to disagree with any sign here” during the anthem.
The rally proceeded without incident, however, administrators later went to Pappas’ classroom and escorted her to the school parking lot.
She has since been indefinitely suspended.
via Daily Democrat:
Pappas acknowledged she had broken California Education Code and was drafting an apology to those offended by her actions. Speaking Friday afternoon, she had no regrets but said she didn’t realize how many would be angered by her kneeling.
“I felt like it was something respectful and supportive to our flag,” Pappas said. “I didn’t even think of it as a protest. I was taken off-guard by the reaction.”
As of Friday afternoon, Pappas’ union representative was in contact with the school district but no one in the administration had informed her of a timeline to return to the classroom. Pappas said she had not been fired but was told she would not be allowed to return to work until an investigation had concluded. She did not know if her pay would be suspended during the investigation.
In the school district, free speech rights for teachers are limited as actions and statements made by teachers are seen as an extension of the school district.
Due to the ongoing investigation, Pappas declined to comment.
Students and community members took to social media to express support or opposition of Pappas after her suspension.