Michigan Teacher Says He Was Fired for Tweeting Donald Trump 'Is Our President'

A Michigan teacher and sports coach maintains his school district fired him for tweeting about President Donald Trump.

Justin Kucera, 28, a former social studies teacher and varsity baseball coach at Walled Lake Western High School in Walled Lake, Michigan, wrote on Twitter: "I'm done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president. Don't @ me."

His tweet, posted July 6, has received more than 10,000 likes and nearly 2,000 replies. The Detroit News reported that Kucera responded to one of those replies with a now-deleted tweet that read, "Liberals suck man."

Kucera also retweeted a post from Trump's account that same day, which read, "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!"

A few days later, Kucera received an email from school officials asking him to attend a private meeting via Zoom regarding his tweets, he said.

"I was required to meet with [Human Resources], the superintendent, and my principal [on July 10]. They initially took my statement on why I tweeted those tweets and they told me they would have a decision about my future employment in the upcoming days," Kucera told The Washington Free Beacon, which described him as a popular teacher and coach.

School officials asked Kucera about the context of his tweets, and he said he agreed with the president that schools should reopen in the fall. Kucera's now-deleted tweet about "liberals" was meant to be sarcastic, Kucera told the News.

As for tweeting that Trump "is president," Kucera said he had meant for that message to be "unifying."

"I know a lot of people are just rooting for Trump to fail, and I don't think that anybody should do that," Kucera told the Free Beacon. "Agree with him or not, you should want the president to do well. I apologized that [my tweet] brought so much negative attention, but I'm not sorry for what I said."

Kucera said school officials asked him to attend another meeting on July 13, where they informed him he could either resign or be fired.

After Kucera told the officials he would not resign, they told him his last day would be July 17.

Oakland Schools, a regional service agency that serves the school district in which Kucera was employed, denied Kucera's story to the News, saying, "No disciplinary action was taken as a result of any support of President Trump."

Mary Zaleski, a spokeswoman for Oakland Schools, told Newsweek, "We do not get involved in personnel issues at the districts."

The school district would not elaborate further on Kucera's apparent dismissal, citing confidential personnel matters.

A representative from Kucera's teachers union told him that his tweets could be understood by the school district as impeding school business, which could be grounds for firing, particularly because Kucera has the school's name in his Twitter bio, the News said.

Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, Kucera's former school district, believes in "critical thinking," "positive discourse" and civil and respectful "community discussion," Judy Evola, a district spokeswoman, told the News.

"These are difficult times in our community and across our country," Evola said. "When issues arise, there's a temptation to view items through the lens of our fractured political discourse. Walled Lake encourages students and staff members to engage each other with mutual respect and civility."

Newsweek contacted Walled Lake Consolidated Schools for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Kucera and those who spoke on his behalf maintain that the teacher and coach always tried to remain apolitical when interacting with students and colleagues.

Bryant Hixson, a recent Walled Lake Western graduate, said Kucera's political views did not have any effect on what he thought about of his former coach and teacher.

"Prior to Mr. Kucera's tweet, I cannot recall an instance where he shared his political affiliations while teaching or coaching," Hixson told the Free Beacon. "My political views have no impact on how I feel towards Mr. Kucera. Mr. Kucera has always been supportive of me as my AP world history and student leadership teacher and as my baseball and basketball coach."

Newsweek reached out to Kucera for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Update (07/22/20, 12:04 p.m.): This article has been updated to include a comment from Oakland Schools spokeswoman Mary Zaleski.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks to reporters at the White House on July 21. A Michigan teacher and sports coach maintains his school district fired him for tweeting about the president on July 6. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Michigan Teacher Says He Was Fired for Tweeting Donald Trump 'Is Our President' | News