Teacher nearly fired over John Oliver’s Donald Drumpf clip


A New Jersey teacher was reportedly asked to resign after showing John Oliver’s Donald Drumpf clip

A high school history teacher in Middletown, New Jersey nearly lost his job for showing the “Make Donald Drumpf Again” segment from Last Week Tonight during class after an offended parent complained to the school where he works. According to the New York Post, Joe Ventre reportedly showed the record-breaking clip that lampoons GOP front-runner Donald Trump in class, resulting in school administrators confronting him for violating his contract by revealing his political views to his students, and asked him to resign at the end of the school year.

However, the action was met with an even bigger backlash, with outraged students and parents circulating a petition in support of Ventre that currently has over 3,7000 signatures. It reads:

"Mr. Ventre is being forced to resign as a teacher at Middletown South due to showing his politcal views in the classroom. Although this is a violation of his contract this should not end his career at South.As a student in Mr. Ventre’s history class I have learned more about life and history than ever before. He has an extremely positive effect on the lives of students in and out of his classes.Out of all classes I have this year, Mr. Ventre’s is one of my favorites. He always has such a positive attitude, even with the situation that is going on. Having someone as positive as Mr. Ventre around you helps your mentality and makes your day a little bit brighter. With past experiences, Mr. Ventre has been there to talk when needed. He knows how to understand kids feelings and is an honor to have as a teacher. He is one of my role models and losing him would negatively effect mine and many other students’ lives."

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A district parent, Kathi Van Zandt, sister of E Street Band member and The Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt, told the Post that the decision to fire him was “ridiculous” and “a travesty,” and has not only appealed to the Board of Education, but even reached out to Oliver’s former boss, Jon Stewart, who happens to live in the town.

While various media outlets have reported that Ventre – who didn’t show videos involving any of the other presidential candidates – has agreed to resign, Patch.com indicates that he may not be out of a job after all. The teacher has reportedly rescinded his resignation, and the school district has agreed to take him back.

“Today, the staff member withdrew their letter of resignation,” Middletown superintendent Bill George wrote in an email to Patch. “Therefore, there is no action regarding this employee before the board at this time. Beyond that, information regarding personnel status ‎and performance is legally protected.”

The Donald Drumpf clip has been viewed over 24 million times on YouTube since debuting in February. Watch Oliver’s widely-circulated segment that Ventre showed in class here:

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO. Tune in to see whether Oliver mentions the incident during his latest episode.