A 2010 “Teacher of the Year” in Mount Dora, Florida has been suspended for comments he made on his Facebook page that were critical of homosexual marriage. Jerry Buell (pictured at left), who has taught social studies and history in the Lake County school District for two decades and has, by the district’s own admission, a spotless record, was removed from his teaching duties while officials investigate allegations that his comments were biased against homosexuals.

Buell told FOX News that he was stunned by the allegations against him. “It was my own personal comment on my own personal time on my own personal computer in my own personal house, exercising what I believed as a social studies teacher to be my First Amendment rights,” he said.

But Chris Patton, a spokesman for the district said school officials “took the allegations seriously. All teachers are bound by a code of special ethics [and] this is a code ethics violation investigation.” Patton told the Orlando Sentinel that Facebook “is a minefield. People think they’re free to say what they want to, but in some aspects it can come back to haunt you.

According to the Sentinel, the district’s guidelines “warn teachers if they ‘feel angry or passionate about a subject, it may not be the time to share your thoughts in a post’ and to ‘delay posting until you are calm and clearheaded.’ ”

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