News Story

District Alleges Teacher Shortage, Fires Pro-Trump Teacher Over ‘Liberals Suck’ Tweet

Teacher was twice rated ‘highly effective’ by district

In January 2020, an official in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District warned of a teacher shortage in Michigan.

Cathy Kochanski, assistant superintendent for learning services, said the teacher shortage was one reason the district was offering its Teacher Cadet Academy as an introduction to the profession, according to the local news weekly The Spinal Column.

But in July, the school district fired a teacher it had rated as “highly effective” because of comments he made on a social media platform about President Donald Trump.

Justin Kucera, a social studies teacher at Walled Lake Western High School, was fired after a series of pro-Trump tweets that included disparagement of liberals.

In response to social media criticism of a tweet posted in support of Trump, he posted a response that included, “Liberals suck man.”

He deleted that tweet, but the school district used it as sufficient cause to fire him on July 17.

District officials said the teacher could have his job back with an unpaid suspension, but only if he admitted he was wrong.

Kucera rejected the demand.

According to the school district, Kucera had twice received the highest rating possible on annual teacher assessments, “highly effective.” He received the second-highest rating, “effective,” once.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.