Supt.: Report employees were fired because of political views is - CBS46 News

Supt.: Report employees were fired because of political views is fake news

Posted: Updated:

DeKalb County's school superintendent is refuting reports that some school employees were fired over their political views.

A statement from the office of Dr. Stephen Green says that an article posted on the right-leaning World Net Daily website is inaccurate in its claim that several employees were let go because they'd posted negative comments about immigrants in the country illegally.

Employees of a Georgia school district known for its diversity of refugees and migrants – legal and illegal – are being told not to express themselves on or off campus if their views on immigration line up with those of President Donald Trump.

If their words are considered not “welcoming” of refugees and migrants, they will face investigation and possible termination

The article alleges that two district employees were fired because they'd "told illegal-alien students they would be deported under Trump."

Green's office says that the report's assertion that the employees, two teachers and a school nurse, were fired is inaccurate.

"These former employees had been investigated by our school system for comments suggesting DeKalb students with immigrant backgrounds faced deportation. Unfortunately, these comments were publicly available to students and families and negatively impacted the employees’ effectiveness in their schools," the statement says.

Green says the employees got full due process and the school board investigated. Principals and the regional superintendent over the three employees recommended they be fired, but Green says they chose to voluntarily step down.

Green says no one ever reached out to his office, but the author of the WND article disputes that, saying he called and never got an answer and still has yet to be contacted about the issue. 

"If there is a problem, I would think they would contact me first and we could discuss it," Leo Hohman told CBS46 in an email. "As with any story, if a mistake was made, it would be immediately corrected upon us being informed."

Green's office stood by their decision and their stance on diversity, which came under criticism in Hohman's article.

"We value all students, no matter their birth homes or heritages. We love them, and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America.  Our diversity is our strength," the statement said.

At the same time, he highlighted that teachers' right to free speech is respected but that when that interferes with their jobs or serving students it becomes unacceptable.

"Mr. Green's attempts to slander me in the local media for reporting the truth about his policies suggest he is catching heat for trying to snuff out the First Amendment rights of every DeKalb County employee," Hohman said. "He is rightly embarrassed for having his anti-free speech policies exposed and now he is trying to lash out against the messenger who exposed him. Perhaps he would be better off to look in the mirror and think about changing his message."

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46