Last year, Michael Baker was one of only forty-seven teachers in Nebraska to obtain National Board Certification. Last month, he showed his students at East High School in Lincoln the documentary, Baghdad ER, which shows the lives of doctors, nurses, medics, and soldiers in Iraq. The next day, Baker was no longer in his geography classroom.
Says former colleague Michael Anderson: “I believe there were students who went home and were troubled about what they saw, and there were parental phone calls to the principal, and the next day she walked him out the door because she didn’t have the courage to stand up to the complainers.”
Baker was suspended for ten days without pay. Apparently, school administrators have never liked his teaching style. Baker taught history by starting with the present and moving backwards, but the school forbade him to continue doing that. Then his history classes were taken away altogether.
A spokeswoman for the Lincoln public schools says that Baker asked to retire and his request was honored.