I should have heeded my husband's apprehension and our friends'advice, but I wanted that house. Because Ron and I were public schoolteachers and supported public education, we ignored our friends'warnings and enrolled our daughters in Marion's school system. A yearlater I transferred to the Marion system from Florence where I haddeveloped two educational programs: the itinerant learning disabilitiesprogram and a self-contained middle school class for emotionallydisturbed juvenile delinquents. In Marion, I was assigned to two schoolsas a learning disabilities clinician. Within weeks of my transfer, my firstencounter with the establishment made me acutely aware that thewarnings of our friends were accurate.Almost four decades since the landmark decision in Pickering v. Boardof Education, 1968, many teachers still cannot criticize their schoolsystem without fear of retaliation. When author Maggi Hall, a veteranpublic school teacher, wrote a letter to the newspaper in Marion County,South Carolina, criticizing her school district, she didn't realize that oneday she would be called upon to defend the cornerstone of democracyitself-the First Amendment. AFFIRMED: Teachers as Citizens is her amazing story of determination.
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