We have been discussing the increasing scrutiny being applied to teachers and professors over their political views and social media commentary. A particularly problematic case has been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) involving Kansas teacher Esther Koontz. The long-time math teacher (and something called a “curriculum coach”) at Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet School in Wichita, Kansas, Koontz was barred from renewing her contract as teacher because she supports the boycott of Israel over the occupation of Palestinian territories. This is not simply reflective of her political views but a religious based obligation as a member of the Mennonite Church USA. The church in July voted to divest itself from American companies that profit off of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. The Kansas law therefore collides head on with the rights of free speech, free exercise, and free association.
A twenty-eight-year British man experienced cardiac arrest this week after he accidentally swallowed a 6-inch long Dover sole that he caught on a fishing trip in Boscombe, England. The man was dangling the fish over his mouth as a joke when it broke free and went right down his throat. Fortunately, paramedics arrived within minutes and saved his life by removing the fish with forceps.