Sutter Middle School Student Fights for Teacher’s Rights Amid Confederate Flag Controversy

FOLSOM -- A lesson of a different kind for a local middle school student.

Eric Hall recently collected more than 350 signatures showing support for his history teacher, Woody Hart. The same teacher that was put on paid administrative leave last month, then given an early retirement package, after a confederate flag controversy inside his classroom.

Before that, Hart was under investigation this past November for comments he made to a class about lynching.

"That's part of the reason I think it's so crazy that he's been accused of these things," Hall said. "It's just so off-target of what is the reality."

So off-target, in his eye's, that it prompted the 14-year-old to do something about it. Hall gathered 356 student and faculty signatures at Sutter, hoping to get Hart's job back.

"I just felt like he had been misrepresented, and I felt like it has not been fair to him," Hall said.

The eighth-grader sent his petitions to the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District. A letter arrived Thursday to Hall's home. In it, the district thanked him for his thoughts and hard work. But it also said Mr. Hart would stay retired.

"I think I am trying to make a point that people are outraged about this," Hall said.

One of the points the letter from the district made was that "personnel decisions should not be based on public opinion."

Hart has had overwhelming support from parents, students, and teachers. But, for now, Woody Hart will remain "retired."