One of my favorite teachers when I was a student at Ramon C. Cortines High School was Greg Schiller. Mr. Schiller makes science fun. But now he's at risk of losing his job after two of his students submitted Science Fair projects that included a marshmallow shooter and an AA battery-powered coil gun that launches small objects.
At first glance, Greg Schiller looks like a mad scientist taken straight out of a Hollywood film. His infamous mustache has more fans and followers than the Dodgers on a good day. He coaches fencing and occasionally appears in school talent shows. Heck! Mr. Schiller is in fact anything but ordinary. He is a teacher, role model and friend. He is the type of teacher you hear about in the movies but never hear about in real life. He is the type of teacher that instills faith and education in his students. A paragraph or two can't do justice to the honorable and respectable human being that Mr. Schiller is.
Our beloved teacher was wrongfully accused of "conspiring with students to make weapons" on the day of the Science Fair Project. Despite following Science Fair guidelines, the projects were removed from Science fair, and Greg Schiller was given a 5 day dismissal. Following his dismissal however, he was sent to "teacher jail" where he spends 4 hours confined to 4 walls, while the science projects are investigated. Like Mr. Schiller, there are other teachers who have been wrongfully sent to "teacher jail" and are still awaiting dismissal years later.
Greg Schiller is being punished for teaching science. His removal from the classroom only hurts his students, who rallied to support him.
The allegations gathered against teachers in these jails make them guilty before they are even "trialed" making it almost impossible to be sent back to classrooms. The majority of teachers in these jail systems are older than 50, making this system a corrupted attempt at removing older teachers from our educational environments. The unified school districts keep pushing our teachers out of the classrooms by wrongfully dismissing them and sending them to dehumanizing "jail" buildings.
We must support our teacher Mr. Schiller and the rest of the teachers in this system. We cannot continue feeding into this system! Our silence will not speak louder than our words. Our words will speak louder than our silence!