For a certain group of people, the “Make America Great Again” cap is somehow a sign of everything they find wrong with this country. Actress Alyssa Milano went as far as to call it “the new white hood,” essentially comparing enthusiastic Trump supporters with Klansmen.
Sandy Creek High School principal Emily Wemmer didn’t quite go that far, but the principal in the upstate New York town seemed to associate a lot of bad behavior to wearers of the red cap.
Now, she’s out of a job, thanks to the Board of Education.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, Wemmer slammed both her students and their parents in a series of social media posts and seemed to blame a lot of it on a “MAGA hat-wearing culture.”
The paper said she “later apologized in a statement posted on the district’s website, saying her comments were misinterpreted as being disparaging and disrespectful to the Sandy Creek community. She said she was just trying to empower her female students.
“Wemmer also said the comments were private, but that her account had been hacked and the comments became public.”
And wouldn’t you know it, these were not the kinds of comments you wanted to see made public.
“This is a VERY traditional, conservative district,” one post read. “I have learned myself that men feel totally entitled to manhandle women whenever. Girls are also expected to be passive. If I don’t teach my girls anything else I hope that it is that they can live independently and choose if they want to be in a relationship or not. The mama bear comes out in me when I hear reports of abuse like I heard today.”
Another post claimed that “fathers of students will often try to intimidate me physically.”
“Even some male students will try the intimidation BS,” she said. And then she raised issues of sexism: “I’ve been asked if I’m a lesbian or married as if those are the only possibilities for a woman.”
And then came the Trump post, where she said, “it’s hard when you’re fighting against an intrenched conservative, MAGA hat-wearing culture.”
“I am also responsible for the boys, and need to be their advocate. I need to figure out ways to teach them what’s appropriate before it becomes a legal issue.” she added.
I mean, there’s plenty of bad stuff here. I’m not present at Sandy Creek High School, so I don’t know the actual story, but this is a principal who seems to believe that the boys under her charge act so inappropriately they’re basically criminals waiting to happen but her female students needed to be empowered. The fathers are apparently intimidating her physically and like to “manhandle women” (both things I reckon the police might liked to have known about if she’s being accurate), and if we’re to glean anything from her social media posts, this is part and parcel with “MAGA hat-wearing culture.”
Wemmer has since been replaced by retired Sandy Creek principal Maureen Shiel, who held the position from 1996 to 2016. Her position on people wearing “Make America Great Again” caps isn’t known but it’s assumedly not as loathsome as the woman she’s replacing.
This isn’t to excuse bad behavior among students and parents, mind you. As I said earlier in the story, I wasn’t there. It certainly sounds somewhat exaggerated, but for all I know Sandy Creek is a hotbed of awfulness. However, the connection between the MAGA hat and the problems Wemmer was experiencing is totally non-existent.
You do not become a bad person when you put on a MAGA hat. You don’t become a Klansman. You don’t become a member of the alt-right. You don’t become a member of a vast right-wing conspiracy dedicated to putting women and minorities in their place. None of these things happen. All you do is express a mainstream political viewpoint. And that, apparently, is what gets people like Wemmer so angry.
Not only was this stupid and offensive, it showed a level of rabid political bias clearly inappropriate in a school principal. It doesn’t matter that this was a private account; this isn’t something a principal should be saying at all. I don’t wish perpetual unemployment or digital ignominy upon anyone, but Emily Wemmer clearly needs to do some deep soul-searching before she’s allowed in a position of power over students again.
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