A bombshell undercover video, an exclusive to Red Liberty Media, reveals a glaring double standard in school policy at a Louisiana school. It is a double standard that comes down to this: if you publicly oppose left-wing ideologies being incorporated into curricula, it could cost you your job. And sadly, it is a reality that is becoming increasingly common at schools all over the country. Johnathan Koeppel, 26, a former Spanish teacher at Fontainebleau High School in the Mandeville area of Louisiana, was fired on Aug. 13, 2021, for his conservative beliefs and an expired medical exemption from the district's mask mandate. Believing the termination to have been wrongful and discriminatory, Koeppel filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans in Oct. of 2021.
During his employment at the school, Koeppel spoke at multiple school board meetings where he shared his disapproval of topics being taught to students, such as critical race theory (CRT) and gender and sexual identity, and warned parents of the alarming level of indoctrination. "This isn’t a political indoctrination camp. Ok. It’s public education. We want to teach education, not left-wing ideas that aren’t backed up by facts or science," he declared. On one occasion, where Koeppel spoke against mask mandates, he was joined by hundreds of parents who were also protesting the mandate on behalf of their children.
While Koeppel gained an impressive social media following from his political activism, he attended two disciplinary hearings with the school’s administration, which ultimately led to his firing. In this particular video, obtained directly from the former teacher, the Assistant Superintendent, Michael Coose, is asked: "What did I say that violated the conduct?" In response, Coose says, "You’re telling the public what’s going to happen," and goes on to explain that Koeppel supposedly breached the confidentiality agreement as it relates to students. This exchange was referring to Koeppel’s outspokenness with regard to radical content being taught, as well as his public mention of a fellow teacher, Shelby Thompson, who "signed a national pledge," promising to violate any future laws banning the teaching of CRT, yet faced no disciplinary action.
According to The Daily Wire, "The Zinn Education Project, named after the anti-American and factually challenged historian Howard Zinn, has collected signatures from more than 4,200 teachers," of which Thompson is one. The pledge, which states, "We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law," disturbingly promotes the idea that America’s "defining characteristic" is structural racism and oppression.
From the Zinn Education Project Instagram, teachers who sign the pledge are encouraged to share their decision publicly via social media, protests, etc.
The contrast is clear: Thompson was permitted to openly share her left-leaning views, including vowing to potentially defy the law (pretty radical), without facing consequences, but Koeppel openly shared his conservative views and lost his livelihood. So, why were the two teachers blatantly treated differently?
The undercover video thus highlights a double standard that is crushing the morale of educators who are in disagreement with highly controversial, anti-America curricula; and further, it highlights the fact that, more and more frequently, those in power are infringing upon individuals' precious First Amendment right.
Thankfully, teachers like Koeppel are courageously taking a stand against this worrisome trend in education – to protect their own Constitutional rights and, for the students' sake, to hopefully bring back factual, edifying, and healthy learning environments.
Red Liberty Media will continue to monitor Koeppel's lawsuit and will release details as they become available.