-By Bev Johns
We like to think we live in a free country where we can express our political viewpoints without fear of retaliation, particularly on proposed legislation.
This afternoon I received a telephone call from the Associate Director for Professional Development of the Illinois Principals’ Association (IPA) canceling my IPA Webinar planned for April 25.
As I have gotten to know and like her (and she is soon retiring from IPA) she told me what this was really about.
My first Webinar for IPA on March 2 on Sixty 60 Second Behavior Interventions (the April 25 was to be a repeat of that) was well-attended, and got excellent reviews.
I was told today that IPA PD did not want to cancel, that registration was good for April 25, but that she was directed by Jason Leahy, Executive Director of IPA to cancel. (Jason Leahy has not returned my call to him.)
Why the cancellation?
She stated that IPA had received complaints on my personal position on the Evidence Based Model and that concerns had been expressed to IPA about my email and Facebook comments about IAASE and their positions on legislation (the IPA supports the Evidence Based Model in HB 2808 and SB 1).
Of course that had absolutely nothing to do with my Webinars for IPA.
She stated it was possible that the Webinar might be re-scheduled if the situation changed.
Remember that I had previously received email threats from the President-Elect of IAASE, and then the February 21, 2017 letter from a Washington, D.C. law firm “on behalf of the… Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education (‘IAASE’)” making several false statements and demanding that I cease certain email activity.
This is still a free country, and nothing will stop me from being an advocate for students and teachers.