Wake County Schools

Wake teacher who compared school to concentration camp suspended

Posted October 11, 2014 1:01 p.m. EDT

Wake County Public School System

— A Wake County teacher who compared his school to a concentration camp in an article published online has been suspended for five days without pay, school system officials confirmed Saturday.

Ray Fournier, who teaches at Fuquay-Varina High School, was critical of public schools in an article published in Home School Magazine.

Fournier urged the parents of Christian students to pull their children out of public schools, saying he witnesses "daily indoctrination and spiritual warfare that our children must battle with each and every school day."

A line in the article comparing his school to a concentration camp was later removed, and Fournier apologized for his remarks on a website for No Greater Joy magazine.

"The Wake County Public School System recognizes and respects the First Amendment rights of its employees to free speech in their private lives to the extent the exercise of these rights is not disruptive to students, staff, or the school environment," a spokesman for the school system said in a statement.

"In reviewing concerns regarding statements made by (Fournier), Mr. Fournier acknowledges that he exceeded his rights by making disruptive statements in materials he wrote and published, and has issued an apology for those statements."

Officials said Fournier's five-day suspension would be spread out over the course of the fall semester at times that will be "least disruptive to student learning."

"He has accepted this matter as a learning experience, and has assured the school system that there will be no further such incidents," officials said. "The school system is providing guidance and assistance to Mr. Fournier to prevent any recurrences."