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Teacher who went viral for exposing controversial training says he was fired for his social media use

Jonathan Koeppel claims he was told his use of social media was "unprofessional."
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Jonathan Koeppel, the Spanish teacher from Louisiana who went viral after exposing to the public an online teaching tool that pushed “critical race theory,” says he will take legal action against the school board following his termination. He says the school board took issue with his “unprofessional” use of social media.

Koeppel claims that he was fired on August 11 after two meetings with the school’s principal and the school board’s assistant superintendent.

The teacher went viral for telling the public “BrainPOP,” an online teaching tool that he says promotes controversial doctrines such as critical race theory. Koeppel spent most of his summer on a campaign against it being taught in schools. He attended senate hearings and spoke at educational review committees, expressing his views against critical race theory and other controversial matters in the public education system.

“Over the summer of 2021 I traveled the United States and was able to encourage other young people (I’m 26 by the way) to be brave and take a stand for freedom and what is right. I was also able to work with Marco Rubio’s office to help identify U.S. citizens that were stranded in Cuba during the July pro-freedom protests on the island,” Koeppel wrote. “When I returned to work at the end of summer break, I was immediately kicked off campus and told I had a hearing to attend and that it was about my job.”

On returning to work on August 3rd, he was sent home for not wearing a mask, yet says he had a mask-wearing exemption.

“I made it clear on social media that I would not be wearing a mask to work when the Louisiana Governor issues his new mask mandate; reason #1 is because I am exempt according to the governor’s mandate, reason #2 is that I was given an exemption from my employer. Louisiana had a mask mandate that was to go into full effect on Wednesday, August 4th. On August 3rd, Louisiana was under a voluntary mask mandate,” Koeppel wrote.

“At first, I was being disciplined because of my refusal to wear a mask. THEN I was later notified that my employer was very upset with my public involvement in the community. They referenced my social media platforms and said that I am unprofessional and am not allowed to speak openly on matters other than for general discussion. However – the local teacher’s union told me that I do have a right to free speech, and that is protected,” Koeppel added.

Koeppel’s plans to sue his former employer, the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Board.

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