Posted in: Politics

Obama Toilet Paper Gets Florida Firefighter Terminated

obama toilet paper

Pompano Beach, FL — The firefighter was fired, and he probably thinks the outcome stinks.

It was three strikes and you’re out for a veteran firefighter who lost his job for bringing toilet paper printed with the image of President Obama to the firehouse.

Twenty-year firefighter Clint Pierce apparently showed up with “political paraphernalia” in the fire station two previous times and had been warned that divisive expressions of political views should be kept away from municipal property.

The city of Pompano Beach reportedly terminated Pierce for insubordination according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“The incident exhibited ‘tasteless and disrespectful treatment’ of the president, ’caused significant divisiveness within the department and community,’ and led to’a community outcry’ and ‘negative national news coverage,’ Fire Chief Harry L. Small wrote in a Nov. 29 order calling for Pierce’s termination.”

Pierce had apologized for putting the toilet paper in a fire station restroom, but the apology didn’t save his job.

Public sector unionized workers (especially public safety officers) have substantial job protections, so it is remarkable that the city was able to go directly to termination without jumping through a lot of administrative hoops.

And apart from the job protections in the public sector, the First Amendment also applies in the government workplace. Nonverbal communication (especially of a political nature) is in general a form of protected “speech” under the law. There are no constitutionally protected free speech rights in the private sector, however.

That being said, did the city violate the firefighter’s freedom of expression in this context?

Further, while many would agree that the firefighter’s stunt was in bad taste, disrespectful, or offensive, do you think that termination is the appropriate sanction, or would a lesser form of discipline be more appropriate? In other words, did he really deserve to get flushed?

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Comments

28 Responses to “Obama Toilet Paper Gets Florida Firefighter Terminated”

  1. Sue Ann Smith

    He had violated the rules twice before. This was his 3rd time. What makes you think he was going to stop?

    Also, what a sore loser.

  2. Shaina Kelly

    I think it's funny. Obama toilet paper? Ha. He'll get another job just because of this.

  3. 'Dagny Kight

    Specifically what he did does not matter as much as the result. If his behavior created a divisive atmosphere in the workplace and made him a destructive troublemaker, then he deserves to get fired. He got two warnings. Third strike you're out is fair.

  4. Carol Cain

    I think termination is over the top. 20 years of running into burning buildings.. come on get over yourself. they could have taken vacation time or suspension. is it cause it's obama we can't make fun of him? it has nothing to do with sore loser, sounds like a crappy deal.

  5. Keith C. Parsels

    Where did he get them? I want a case for christmas gifts. There are a lot of business owners here in AZ that would use them in there Businesses.

  6. Gail Johnson

    He was reprimanded for over the top stuff against Obama not once but twice and each time, he promised not to do it again. His behavior was not funny and he should be fired. Once a liar always a liar.

  7. Emius George

    Demographics are different in 2012… Promoting Hate is an Americas problem that needs better education. Twice he didn't stop… Why continue a negative atmosphere dealing with our hero's morality?

  8. Erika Divaa Hill

    Since when did disrespecting the president become acceptable? I do recall the backlash the Dixie Chicks had after an honest opinion from them after 9/11 aimed at Bush. They were banned from radio & concerts, had death threats & called Un-American. But I don't see that happening with this POTUS. Insults & criticisms of Obama are not only welcomed & accepted, but also encouraged. This is pathetic. He was elected again. Stop disrespecting him & start showing some real American support. Other countries are watching. We are revealing the ugly in this nation. Stop it.

  9. Janet Winters Deitt

    It is funny and we do live n the land of the free. A damn shame you can't have a little fun at work without getting fired. Where can you get this a new business venture could make millions putting faces on toilet paper hurry patent. I send pictures of several people I'd like to wipe with.

  10. Alycia Ann Armstrong

    I would like to know where he got the paper I want some lol.. You all need to get a grip, there much bigger problems in the world than this toilet paper! I guess we don't live in a free county after all.

  11. Candy McCracken

    He was warned two previous times. This is insubordination regardless of the specific action. Regarding Obama, I have never voted for him, but I honor him as our President. Period. Had this been the man's first act of insubordination, a strong reprimand and possibly suspension would have been in order — even if this ridiculous disrespect was aimed at our President. But, this brave man who fought fires and saved lives for years ALSO has made some bad decisions meriting warning in the past. I'm sorry he was fired and appreciate his profound community service… but he, of all people, should not be surprised having received prior warnings. The saying that "actions speak louder than words" applies powerfully here and demonstrates another part of his character.

  12. Vincent Gore

    Emius how does dissent = hate? Dissent is what America was fouded on. The right to disagree, the right to dissent, the right to free speech is non negotioable. The concept of free speech applies to all speeach, not just speech you agree with. Nobody is promoting hate by putting an image on toilet paper…Grow up already.

  13. Sam Middendorf

    Dissent, as in free speech, requires taking responsibility for one's actions, and enough intelligence to make an argument. This is simple disrespect, with the emphasis on simple. He was told to desist twice. Sayonara, jughead.

  14. Erika Hill

    And I don't care if this firefighter served for 20 years, he clearly thought he was above the rules. He was warned not once, but twice that his actions were unacceptable. So he knew what the consequences of his decision would be.

  15. Karen Lawson

    Really? LMBO…. You just Described Obama to a TEE!!!!! " Once a Liar always a Liar " And your right Obama has put our Debt over the TOP and it's not FUNNY!!!!! And Yep, Obama should be Fired to, after all he allowed Americans to be killed in Benghazi!!!!!! Among so many other things….. Was it disrespectful of the fireman? Yes…. But Obama has Disrespected this whole Country!!!!!!

  16. John Pontello

    I think it goes deeper. I know we are a country of freedom, but there are people/titles/positions..etc, that deserve respect. I would have never done that to Bush, its just not proper. Clergy, the President ( no matter who he/she is), police, and other certain titles should have automatic respect. Everyone complains that this country is too casual. I the hate the fact that we have let respect, manners, and etiquette slowly die. There a proper way to voice political opinions….go vote.

  17. Manny Perez-Capon

    I would have done it in the City Hall bldg. restrooms, he has a nice law suit for violation of his freedom of speech ammendment. Hope he wins it. It shows another higer up binding under racial pressure.

  18. Joe Mosley

    I want a roll of it.Where can I get it? I think it is funny as hell.LMFAO!