CRYSTAL LAKE – A Prairie Ridge High School teacher has been put on paid administrative leave after showing a politically charged video and endorsing Hillary Clinton in his class.
William Walker has been working with the district since 1993 and has been at Prairie Ridge since it opened in 1997. He was outside the school Monday with tape over his mouth and a sign that read “Enjoy the Silence” in protest of his recent removal from the classroom. He said that the administration’s actions resulted from his showing of a 23-minute YouTube video, “Sam Harris Dismantles Donald Trump,” in class.
“I feel it’s important as a teacher to get students to look at all the information,” he said. “And I don’t think we have enough information on Donald Trump. I was trying to say, ‘Look at it from this perspective.’ ”
He said he also told his students “this is why I am voting for Hillary Clinton” and to show it to their parents if they wanted to. The political talk didn’t go beyond curriculum because he teaches world studies and government, which was the topic at hand, he said.
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and author of five books, including “The End of Faith,” “Letter to a Christian Nation,” “Free Will” and “The Moral Landscape.”
Walker said that he himself recently wrote a book and runs a blog, williamrevelation.com, which discusses his recent “coming back to God.” He said he had previously been warned by administrators to not bring religious talk to the classroom if it went beyond the curriculum.
Prairie Ridge officials were not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon. Walker makes more than $112,000 a year, plus $19,000 in benefits, according to district documents.
“It’s worth the risk if I am going to do something positive in the world,” he said. “You have to be willing to sacrifice and give everything to bring a positive message.”