Wrentham educators and supporters block speech ban

Wrentham educators and supporters block speech ban


With more than 2,000 emails sent to the Wrentham School Committee via a campaign organized by the Wrentham Educators Association to oppose a proposed policy to restrict speech on social policies in Wrentham schools, the board appears ready to drop the plan when it meets Tuesday.

The proposed policy sought to prohibit, “advocacy through the use of pamphlets, stickers, pins, buttons, insignias, flags, banners, posters, signs, photographs, or other similar materials.” Social policies are vaguely defined as “topics of national, state, or local interest, over which the public is deeply divided and are often intensely personal or important to adherents, which are the source of conflicting opinions on the grounds of what is perceived as morally correct or incorrect, or which are the subject to intense partisan advocacy or debate.”

Educators maintained that the proposed policy was vague and would allow micromanagement of school staff in ways that could stifle free speech and silence support for marginalized communities. 

Members of WEA and their supporters will attend the School Committee meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Gibbons Gym at the Delaney School.

The WEA issued the following statement:

“WEA members were pleased to learn that the proposed policy change banning ‘advocacy’ is set to be withdrawn. Supporting our students and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and ready to learn requires an array of tools and strategies. Educators saw this proposed policy as vague and potentially restrictive in ways that would have undermined our ability to exercise professional judgment. Wrentham educators respect the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds in our schools and in our community. We value the trust placed in us to treat everyone fairly and with dignity.”