MICHIGAN — A Michigan State professor who taught English and literature at a Michigan high school and was a mentor to several of his students says he was fired because of his views.
The former professor, who requested anonymity, said he was let go after he called the school for an internal grievance.
He said the school fired him because he had posted comments about a recent suicide on Facebook.
He also said the university’s board of trustees did not investigate the matter and he was not reinstated.
We have no record of the school board taking action, said the professor, adding that he was allowed to write an email to his colleagues and their families.
I was fired after writing something on Facebook, he wrote.
I feel like they got away with it because they were in a position of power.
The university has not said if it was a violation of its policy against promoting suicide.
It is unclear whether the professor has filed a formal grievance.
We will do everything we can to support his rights and support his career, said a statement from a university spokesman.
A spokesman for the Michigan attorney general’s office said in a statement the law does not allow for the firing of a teacher for criticizing the school.
The university said in its statement it will investigate and take appropriate action.
Several high schools across the country have been under fire in recent years over the way they handle student-athlete suicides.
The Michigan State case is the latest in a string of suicides at the state’s public universities.
In the last year, a number of high schools in Texas and Ohio have fired teachers who have criticized the school’s handling of student-led protests over the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
In February, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan released a report detailing how the school system is using the death of an 18-year-old black student, Jonathan Ferrell, to recruit and retain a teacher who has criticized the university on social media.