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N.C. College Officials rule against anti-war former instructor.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Officials at Forsyth Technical Community College have ruled against a former instructor who contends that her contract wasn't renewed because she spoke out against the war in Iraq.

The personnel committee of the school's board of trustees said in a letter to Elizabeth Ito that insubordination and poor use of class time were the contract decision.

"Because the committee is convinced that your political views had no bearing on the decision to not tender a new contract to you, we conclude that no impermissible grounds served as the basis for the recommendation not to tender a new or renewal contract," according to the letter from Andrea Kepple, the chairwoman of the personnel committee.

Ito's supporters rallied in her support in the week before she went before the committee.

"The next step is to appeal to the entire board of trustees," she said.

Kepple writes that Ito was insubordinate "in not agreeing to attend a meeting after being requested to do so by your immediate supervisor, your attitude in interacting with your supervisors, and your difficulty in accepting the view of your supervisors that class time should be devoted to matters germane to the curriculum of the class."

On March 28, Ito walked into her technical writing class and said, "I guess we're going to liberate the Iraqis even if it means killing every damned one of them," then spent 10 minutes criticizing the wax.

Two students complained to one of her supervisors. Meetings with her supervisors followed, and Ito said she was called insubordinate because she said at one point that she didn't want to talk about the issue at another meeting.

When told the meeting was mandatory, she said, she went.

Last month, Dr. Gary Green, the school's president, said at a news conference that he decision not to renew Ito's contract was based on "a lack of competence, professionalism and the ability to meet standards of professional behavior."
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Publication:Community College Week
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 10, 2003
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