Mayfield native Bryan Glover made national news this week after he was fired from his job at Grassland Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee. Glover, a football coach, was dismissed after he performed and distributed a song critical of President Obama. A national controversy has ensued over the issue of free speech rights.
Early reports stated that Glover's song, "When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail", contained racial overtones for which the Williamson County School System found inappropriate. Not true. After watching the video and then reading the lyrics it is clear that there are no racial overtones. This story has been sensationalized by Fox News and other media outlets across the Nation. By all accounts Bryan Glover is a great football coach, a really good singer/musician and a stand up guy.
Was Bryan Glover just exercising his constitution right of free speech-yes he was. Should Bryan Glover been fired just because he released a song-no he shouldn't have. Should Bryan Glover used school email list and a school computer to distribute it-probably not-ouch!
I spoke with a number of folks in the school system and in the Franklin Community today and all were in agreement. This was an unfortunate incident that left Williamson County Administrators few choices. No one in the school system was willing to go on the record because of possible litigation but while everyone hated the decision to dismiss Glover they understood and accepted it.
A Grassland Middle football booster who agreed to speak with me under the condition of anonymity stated that the Obama issue was blown out of proportion and the only issue was the misuse of school computers. The booster said that Glover had been pressure by someone in the music industry to release the song via email and over the inet so that the music entrepreneur in question could make a buck.
In short everyone lost here. Grassland Middle lost a good coach and Bryan Glover lost his job because he made a poor and rash decision to quickly release a song using a school computer. His dismissal was not about race or Obama but about bad judgement.