By Mira Soni
Two retired teachers from Muncie, Indiana are suing their school districts for First Amendment violations.
Kay Rankin and Mike Ryan both worked in Muncie Community Schools for over 30 years. On February 17th, the former employees received letters from the school Chief of Security, telling them they had been banned from school property and events because of their “disruptive conduct.”
Rankin and Ryan have been active voices in recent protests against the Superintendent of Muncie Community Schools, Dr. Steven Baule. Baule came under fire after announcing his decision to close multiple schools in Muncie and cut teacher salaries by up to 20 percent in attempt to fix the $15 million deficit the schools are facing. At school board meetings, protests, and on social media, both Rankin and Ryan have called for Baule’s firing.
In an interview with WISHTV, their attorney, Jason Delk, said that the former teachers were simply expressing their First Amendment rights.
“Frankly, as a result of them just raising their constitutionally protected displeasure with what’s happening, they’ve now been banned from the very place in which they devoted their entire lives,” said Delk.
Rankin and Ryan’s lawsuit calls for damages and a revocation of the ban.