Just Wrong

Back in September, an art teacher was fired in Illinois for teaching veganism to his classroom.

They said he began teaching veganism and animal rights instead of art without telling school officials or parents, told students to keep it a secret, and then refused to answer school officials’ questions about what he was teaching.

Source: Northwest Herald

Now, while I believe in freedom of speech, I don't believe that teachers have the right to proselytize to their students. Dave Warwak, the fired teacher, took it upon himself to use his classroom to promote his agenda, rather than teach art, the subject he was hired to teach. Wrong forum, wrong audience, wrong behavior!

While I'm all for broadening the minds of our youth, I don't believe a teacher has the right to take it upon himself to try to sway their opinions in such a furtive manner. Clearly Warwak knew he was doing something "wrong" or he would not have demanded secrecy from his students.

Today, the Illinois State Board of Education, upheld the decision to fire Warwak.


  1. He claims he never asked them to keep it secret. And some of his “vegangelism” truly was art. He did art projects about veganism and animal rights.

    I agree with you that from what I know of the case he stepped over the line. But I have also experienced and read of MANY stories of vegan discrimination where vegans don’t have the same rights to free speech as the rest of the country.

    I’m not certain you have all the facts staright about this one. You can’t always trust the mainstream media about intimate details regarding employment disputes.

  2. Hi Elaine,
    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t come across any news article that indicated he was using animal rights as an art project. (I can only write based on the info at hand.) However, middle school students can be as young as 11. That might be too early to be subjecting them to some of the brutal animal rights literature that’s out there. I think this kind of thing is a hot button topic for a lot of parents out there. He had to know he was stepping over that line at least.

    You’re right, you can’t always trust the mainstream media. I read a really interesting article on the real rate of inflation today.

  3. “Not only at Fox River Grove Middle School but also in thousands of schools across the country, corporate agribusiness has run amok in the attempt to utilize public education as a place to establish the naturalization of commercial meat and dairy as lifelong eating habits, to generate increased sales, to subsidize the food industry against decreased producer prices, as well as to funnel below-health standards food not fit for public sale. Warwak was correct to demand the riddance of the Dairy Council’s posters as they had in fact already been targeted for removal from approximately 105,000 public schools by the Federal Trade Commission.” Richard Kahn PhD, University of North Dakota

  4. Hi Warwak,
    I’m not objecting to his intention. Although vegans represent less than 5% of the population. To expect a school to cater to that sensitivity is, I believe, unrealistic. What I do strongly object to is that this teacher decided to change the curriculum in his classes without prior approval of the school board/superintendents… This is an ART teacher lecturing about animal rights. If he were to mention that certain papers are treated with animal by-product, I could possibly excuse his behavior. However, he told the students to keep his agenda a secret from their parents. Clearly he knew he was crossing a line.
    Also, as an example, a math teacher who decided to teach interior decorating wouldn’t be doing his/her job either. Shouldn’t that person be fired as well?

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